Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua is 5-5 in the UFC, and coming off a loss to Alexander Gustafsson in December. On Saturday at UFC FN 26 Shogun fights Chael Sonnen in the main event. Rua is looking for every advantage, which including training with legendary boxing coach Freddie Roach.
Roach appeared recently on "The MMA Hour" to discuss Shogun's progress.
“It’s funny, when we first started working together he wasn’t punching really hard because he didn’t have his balance and his feet under him, and I told him he punched like a girl. The last day he said, ‘Freddie, can I ask you a question? Do I punch like a boy now?’ I said, ‘Yes, you do.’ He’s really fun guy to be around and a really hard worker. We had a really good time.”
“He didn’t have his feet under him. He wasn’t pivoting off the right foot at the right time. The thing about striking is having weight on the right foot at the right time, and driving off that foot. He was more or less just using his upper body, which is okay. But if you get your whole body behind your shot, it’s just much, much better."
"The thing is, he did improve quite a bit. His punching power did go from, like, a C to an A really quickly."
"He went from an okay puncher to a great puncher in less than a week. He picks up on things very quickly because of the athlete he is. It was like night and day, when he started to when he left. He really, really had a lot more power under his shots. But the thing is, he has to sit down with his shots a little bit more. Sometimes it's a little bit harder with MMA because of the aspect of being kicked at the same time, but it did work for him. When we worked off angles it worked really, really well. I was really happy with the progress."
"The thing is, sometimes when you're getting a guy on the ground, and the ground and pounding, they're just kind of arm punches -- just not really getting their body behind it where they could end it with one shot instead of 50. So it does get a little frustrating at that point, but the thing is, again, it's not their main sport at first for most of the guys. So it's just a learning process, and I'm very open to helping these guys out. It works out well for me because I love working with great athletes."
What do you think UG? Is Shogun going to wake up Saturday with a losing UFC record for the first time since he lost his UFC opener vs. Forrest Griffin six years ago?