Browsing all articles tagged with Maurico “Shogun” Rua

Episode 65 – The Marksgiving Show (Redskins Week 11 Recap)

With the rest of the guys out, Mark does a solo show. He breaks down the Redskins heartbreaking loss to the Cowboys, the NBA Lockout situation, UFC 139, and DC United season. He also goes over what he’s thankful for at Thanksgiving.


Washington Sportsjam MMA Pound-for-Pound Rankings: April 2011 Edition

Hello, welcome to the first edition of the Washington Sportsjam Pound-for-Pound MMA Rankings! Let me spell out the ground-rules before we get to our list.

Number one, we are only concerned with fighters in the UFC, Strikeforce, or Bellator organizations, the major North American fight labels .We’re a local blog, I’m one man and don’t have time to watch every Japanese fight.  Number two, only current belt-holders are eligible for the list, if you’re not the best in your weight class you’re not the best in pound-for-pound either. I know there could be many exceptions to this rule but it makes the creation of this list much easier. And lastly, a fighter must have been active in the last twelve months.

George "Rush" St. Pierre

Ryan Mallard/flickr

This first list is dominated by the UFC, I’m going to start following Strikeforce and Bellator much more closely so this list could change drastically or expand to 10 spots.

1. Anderson Silva (UFC Middleweight Champion, Record 28-4)

The “Spider” is an easy pick here, being the most dominant UFC champion of all-time. Since winning the UFC Middleweight belt in 2006 Silva has defended it a record of eight times ( He has also won 13 consecutive fights in the UFC). Until someone can dethrone him and take his belt, he owns this spot.

2. Georges St-Pierre (UFC Weltweight Champion, Record 22-4)

It could be argued that St-Pierre has been an even more dominant champion. Since reclaiming his undisputed championship he has completely destroyed his opponents in his six title defenses. However six in a row is not eight in a row.

3. Jose Aldo (UFC Featherweight Champion, Record 18-1)

Since his WEC debut Aldo has been on a tear. No one in the division seems to be anywhere near his level. He’s got quickness in the stand-up to avoid shots and land his own and has great ground-and-pound. Most of all he’s a brilliant tactician who never engages in a disadvantageous position and always finds an opponent’s weak spot.

4. Jon Jones (UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Record 13-1)

Jones has looked unstoppable since he joined the UFC but many thought he would look more human once he fought the elite fighters. Turns out he doesn’t. He made just as quick work of former champ Shogun Hua as he did every other fighter he’s faced. While he still has to prove he can defend the title, he’s on a hot-streak right now and looks unbeatable.

5. Cain Velasquez (UFC Heavyweight Champion, Record 9-0)

After the reign of the hulking Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar, Velaszquez proved that winning in the UFC required more than strength, power, and wrestling top-control. When Velasquez defeated Lesnar he proved that he was better all-around fighter than Brock and that he could contest with anyone in any aspect of a fight. There are a few UFC Heavyweights in his same class, but he’ll be a hard guy to take a belt from.

Other fighters in consideration: Dominick Cruz,Nick Diaz,Frankie Edgar, Gilbert Melendez, Alistair Overeem


The Iceman Goeth

At UFC 115 on two weeks ago UFC superstar Chuck Liddell was handed his third consecutive loss.  In a post-fight interview UFC president Dana White declared unequivocally that Liddell will not fight in the Octagon again.

Liddell, along with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is the most popular and recognizable fighter in the UFC. But with a 1-4  record since losing his UFC Light Heavyweight title to Jackson it is clear that the game has passed the Iceman by.  It is not just the losses, it is the way he has lost.  Liddell was possibly the greatest counter-puncher of all time in the UFC. During his nearly two year reign as the Light Heavyweight champ from 2005 to 2007 he successfully defended his title four times and ended each fight with a TKO or KO. During this time the Iceman was the baddest man in the Octagon and undoubtedly the most dangerous striker in MMA.

But then Rampage KOed him on one punch. Then future Light Heavyweight champ Rashad Evans knocked him out with one punch. Then another future Light Heavyweight champ, Maurico “Shogun” Rua TKOed him with a flurry of punches. And finally at UFC 115, Rich Franklin, a former middleweight champion, KOed with one punch. Franklin delivered his knockout with his right arm, because his left arm had been broken earlier in the fight.

His losses have not come against slouches, but he has clearly been outclassed in the division. It looks impossible for Liddell to ever get his belt back unless about five guys suddenly retire. Most of all he has been surpassed at what made him great -  striking and counter-punching. Worse, he seems to have no chin anymore and looks to be an easy knockout to an elite striker.

Liddell has been criticized for being one-dimensional and not keeping in good fighting shape in the past. But he came into his fight against Franklin fit and trimmed. In both his last two fights he showed more diversity in his game, mixing up his striking with some grappling.

But despite his re-dedication to the sport it is clear to everyone that his time is up.  He is 40 years old and has over 30 fights on his body. It is time for him to retire. The Light Heavyweight division in the UFC is too loaded right now for him to have a chance.

But please Chuck, don’t go Strikeforce or some other lesser fighting organization.  We understand, everyone wants to go out on top. That is why Brett Favre hems and haws everyone off-season, and that’s why Jordan ended up playing for the Wizards. But you’re already a UFC Hall of Famer. Sticking around for more disappointing losses is only going to taint your legacy the same way MJ’s Washington stint tainted his.

Chuck you were the baddest man in the world for two years. If you want us to remember you that way, retire now. We’ll appreciate it and still appreciate you years from now as one MMA’s greatest of all time.


UFC in Need of Rule Changes

The last two UFC main events have ended on judge’s scorecards and the decisions were controversial. Last night at UFC 105, Randy Couture beat Brandon Vera by unanimous decision and at UFC 104 Lyoto Machida defended his light heavyweight belt with a unanimous decision  over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. To many fans at home these looked the wrong decisions.

Last night, Couture controlled the pace of the fight well throughout, but Vera appeared to do more damage than Couture did throughout the fight.  At one point Vera rocked Couture with a strike, Couture fell to the ground and turned his back as if retreating. Watching from home it appeared that Couture won the first round, Vera won the second, and Vera won the third.  Both the second and third rounds were close but Vera got the lone takedown of the night in the third round. Couture’s win was not as much of a surprise as the unanimous decision.  The fact that Couture retreated from combat  and yet still won does not sit well.

The title fight in UFC 104 was rather uneventful, with not much happening in the five rounds.  No fighter appeared to have a distinct advantage on the scorecards. Rua attacked, while Machida was content to defend and never really pressed much of an offense.  It could be argued that Machida showed better technique, but he showed less fighting all around.

UFC President Dana White cannot be happy with the way his last two Main Events have gone.  White has clashed with fighters he thought did not bring enough a show to Octagon.  He took more than a few shots at former heavyweight champion Tim Slyvia, who he thought was too timid in his title defenses. For fights to end the way White wants them to, there might have to be a change to the rules.

Right now the UFC uses the Unified Rules for Mixed Martial Arts. This rule set is a 10-Point Must System were the winner of a round is awarded ten points and the loser is awarded nine or less.  The points are awarded based on “effective striking, effective grappling, control of the fighting area, effective aggressiveness and defense. ” That kind of rule set works fine if there is a consistent pace of action. But there does not seem to be enough incentive for all the fighters to push the pace. A belt-holder knows that they can hang back; there may be more of a risk in losing the belt by engaging the opponent.

There is a thought that you have to take the belt away from a champion and that a veteran will receive a more favorable decision than an up-and-comer. While those sentiments make sense, they are not fair and they do not always make for good fights.  The UFC needs to modify the rules to fit the style of fights the fans want. There needs to be points deducted from a fighter who does not engage or retreats during a fight (Timidity is a foul but that does not seem to cover plain tentativeness).  Punishing fighters who retreated or refused to meaningfully engage would force the action of a fight to continue and turn snooze fests like Rua vs. Machida into actual entertainment.

The NHL and the NFL made changes in recent years to increase the offense in their games. While some purists complain about the bastardization of hockey and football most fans are happier than ever with those sports. If Dana White wants the UFC to continue to grow he needs to make sure the fight by decisions we have been seeing recently stop happening.