Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Shogun of South America

While the UFC's debut of Mauricio "Shogun" Rua will not resonate the same media attention as Barry Bonds's recent record-breaking 756th home run, it will make a huge ripple in the MMA universe.

Representing Chute Box, Rua became the 2005 PRIDE Grand Prix champion in one of the most dominant, magnificent displays in sports history. He faced one of the better strikers with a considerable height advantage ("The Demolition Man" Alistair Overeem), one of the best submission fighters in the world (Ricardo Arona) and dominated both then knocked them out--on the same night no less. He bested the best of both worlds with his fists. Imagine Michael Jordan's game against the Portland Trailblazers when he couldn't miss the three-pointers and any game against the Knicks.

The Brazilian native make his debut in the fall against an opponent to be announced. But Rua has already bested the current UFC middleweight champion, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson by a first round TKO after Jackson suffered injury to his ribs and tapped after Rua pummeled him.

And with Wanderlei Silva's recent signing to the UFC, we may finally see a Silva-Lidell match. I predict Rua facing off against either Dan "Hollywood" Henderson or a rematch with a rejuvenated Jackson. And I predict Rua to still be standing tall after the dust has settled.

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