UFC 190 Fight Preview: Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

Shogun HendoUFC 190 goes down tomorrow night (August 1, 2015) from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. While Ronda Rousey is getting all the attention in the main event, the remainder of the card is filled with several high profile veterans including several Pride legends. Two of those Pride standouts will be rematching in the co-main event as Shogun Rua battles Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Here’s my breakdown of the match-up: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (22-10, 6-8 UFC, -185 favorite) Shogun is one of the most popular fighters that came out of the Pride era. His run through the 2005 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix is legendary and the pure violence he brought to the sport was amazing. When Pride was purchased by Zuffa in 2007 he made the move to the UFC. Unfortunately for him his UFC run has not been nearly as impressive as his Pride run, though he did briefly hold the UFC Light-Heavyweight title until a young stud named Jon Jones took it from him. It is clear he is nearing the end of his career, just as it is clear that he won’t wear UFC gold again. Shogun has been through so many bloody wars and had several serious surgeries, which will certainly reduce the length of a fighter’s career. His biggest problem in regards to injuries has been his knees, as he has had several operations and procedures on them. He has wins over some of the best fighters in the history of the sport, including Lyoto Machida, Chuck Liddell, Rampage Jackson, Forrest Griffin, Mark Coleman, and Alistair Overeem. While he is not what he used to be, he is still an entertaining fighter. Shogun primarily uses a Muay Thai striking style, which is his bread and butter. He is known for his devastating leg kicks, heavy hands, and solid work in the clinch. Shogun isn’t the best on the ground but he has some pretty sneaky sweeps and leg locks. However, he mostly just goes for the knockout. Lately he has been winning by knockout or going out on his shield. Things that concern me about Shogun are his ability to absorb punishment and him speaking several times about retirement. His family wants him to retire and he does not seem to be putting in the work that is necessary to be an elite fighter. He is known for not training like he should, his own coaches have said as much. The 2005 version of Shogun would walk right through the punches that are knocking him out now. I wonder where he goes from here if he doesn’t beat Nogueira. He might be fighting for a paycheck at this point, perhaps we will find out on Saturday night.   Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (21-6, 4-3 UFC, +160 underdog) Rogerio Nogueira is not nearly as famous or as accomplished as his twin brother Rodrigo Nogueira, but he has carved a nice place for himself in the MMA landscape. He has bounced around various promotions throughout the years, but ultimately followed his brother to the UFC. Rogerio has also been in a lot of wars and taken brutal beatings; and that isn’t counting all the surgeries he has had in his career. Nogueira has been on the shelf for long periods of time, as he has only seven UFC fights in the last 6 years. It is never good when a fighter stays that inactive. Both Nogueira brothers are on their last legs and will probably retire soon. Still, you have to give him credit for the elite fighrers he has beaten, including Alistair Overeem (twice), Sakuraba (twice), Rashad Evans, Tito Ortiz, and Dan Henderson. The Team Nogueira standout uses his sharp boxing and very good jiu-jitsu. Fighting out of a southpaw stance, he works a crisp jab and a nice straight, though kicks are not a big part of his game. Rogerio will need only the tiniest of openings to jump on a submission, so his opponents must be alert at all times. However, his wrestling is not the greatest, which means it is tough for him to work his jiu-jitsu game unless his opponent takes him down. Like his brother, Nogueira can no longer absorb the punishment he used to be able to take. This fight could come down to who lands the first big shot, as both are not very durable and are quite susceptible to the knockout.   Prediction: Shogun Rua defeats Rogerio Nogueira by technical knockout (round 1)

Written by Mike James

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