Shogun’s Last Dance

Shogun Rua is synonymous with killer instinct, violence, precision, and warrior spirit. The Chute Boxe prodigy grew up in front of our eyes, and climbed the highest mountain in both Pride Fighting Championship and UFC promotions. January 20th marks an end of an era, as this will be the final fight of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua’s historic career. The Curitiba native has spilled blood and given so much of himself inside of the ring and Octagon with his Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, ferocity, soccer kicks, tremendous heart, code of honor, and respect. in the pursuit of glory with a 27-13-1 professional record. It all comes to an end under the bright lights in his home country of Brazil at UFC 283.

Although a shell of his former self, the legend of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is leaving on his terms in front of his crowd in what should be a ceremonious tribute as he makes the final walk. Shogun takes on a brash, aggressive Ukranian fighter in Ihor Potieria, 18-3, in the final prelim bout of the event in front of what should be a frothing Brazilian audience. Potieria isn’t a world-beater by any means, though has the potential to pose serious problems vs a 41 year-old Shogun who has clearly shown us his better days are far behind him. Shogun is now slow, chinny, and lacks the timing that made him who he was at the height of his career. What Shogun still has is his ground game, killer instinct, and a will to win when it is time to turn up. The will to win will never die.

As far as this matchup goes, it all depends on the game plan each fighter implements inside of the Octagon. If Potieria forces the issue with an aggressive approach, we may see a brief fire-fight ensue until someone gets dropped. If Potieria respects his foe and comes out gun-shy out of the gate, this final chapter may take longer than expected. Shogun preserved what was left of himself last time out in a lackluster performance vs Ovince St. Preux. It would not surprise me to try to conserve energy out of the gate, though this hometown crowd and adrenaline may kick him into gear. I’m inclined to believe we’ll see one more shot of brutality here with both combatants pursing a finish. If Shogun identifies a weakness and an opponent wilting, he will pounce. Potieria is also capable of pursuing a hurt opponent. We’ll likely see a finish, and I like the under 2.5 rounds prop, which can be had at -210.

The final chapter of the fight game isn’t for the faint of heart. The good guys don’t necessarily always win. The reality is combat sports can be brutal, raw, and unforgiving. It is rare that we get to see a legend go out on his terms in front of a hometown crowd. This is the time to pay tribute to one of the greats of the sport. Enjoy, as Mauricio “Shogun” Rua makes his final walk.

Written by Mikes MMA Picks

Mike has been an avid MMA fan since the early 1990's, and pours his heart & soul into his work. He has attended many notable mixed martial arts events including Pride FC, UFC, Bellator, Strikeforce, and PFL over the years, and enjoys analyzing fights. A dedicated DFS MMA player, you can find Mike at the DraftKings handle, Vegasisles.

Mike hosts the very popular betting preview show titled The MMAOB Fight Morning Quick Card Breakdown Show with MikesMMAPicks featured at MMAOddsBreaker

Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikesMMAPicks


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