While many fighters are vocal about and reluctant to fight an opponent licensed to use Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT), Mauricio Shogun Rua could care less about what Chael Sonnen takes. “I don’t care about that (TRT) I want to fight. With TRT or not, I will get there to do my job and will get the win. I’ve worked a lot on my jiu-jitsu with Roberto Gordo, and I’m ready to face him on the ground. But the fight starts standing, and that’s where I like to fight. I’m going to fight and won’t miss opportunities.”
This sounds like the confident Shogun we all used to know. It seems that there has been a lot of buzz around Rua’s fight with Chael, due to Mauricio’s hard training with people such as Freddy Roach and Babalu Sobral. Usually when there is buzz around a fight involving Chael Sonnen, it is because the man is a master at marketing his fights, but for this fight he has opted to stay silent and not say a single bad word about the Brazilian. Rua opted to acknowledge this bizarre occurrence, stating “trash talk gives me more motivation, but he didn’t say a word about me, and that’s surprising. I always respected my opponents and never got into those talks, so I will respect him as I always did. But I was surprised that he didn’t talk trash about me.” He did however point out that Chael has had harsh words for Shoguns longtime friend Wanderlei Silva, saying “It looks like Wanderlei wants to fight Sonnen so bad after me. They talked some trash to each other in the media, but I didn’t pay much of attention to that. I’m focused on my fight. But, if they eventually fight, of course I’ll back Wanderlei.”
This is a very interesting fight, which is really not as easy to call as people seem to think. Depending on which Shogun shows up, we may have entirely different matches on our hands. Chael is very good at implementing his grinding wrestling based game, and if Shogun forgets his cardio at home this could get really ugly for him. What people forget though, is that Rua has a fantastic submission game and Chael has shown to have poor submission defense. Lets hope Saturday gets here already so we can watch these two monsters go at it.