Brothers Shogun and Ninja go separate ways after fall-out

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

There’s no one in the world you want to beat more than your own sibling. From MMA to a pie eating contest, you will push yourself harder and longer if the person opposing you is your sibling. Since brothers don’t generally compete against each other at a professional level, this can lead to the best training partner imaginable.

The phenomenon seems more prevalent in our sport than any other. Outside of Peyton & Eli Manning and Serena & Venus Williams, I’m hard pressed to think of another set in mainstream sports. But MMA is one on one, and it’s a fight. Brothers have spent their entire lives fighting each other, so when the sport is a fight, well, the results speak for themselves.

The number of successful sets of brothers in mixed martial arts is astonishing. Fedor & Aleks Emelianenko, Nate & Nick Diaz, Joe & Dan Lauzon, Cole & Micah Miller, Jim & Dan Miller, Antonio & Antonio Nogueira, Frank & Ken Shamrock, Clay & Jason Guida, Mauricio & Murilo Ruas, Matt & Nick Serra, Matt & Mark Hughes, Jay, JD, Reagan, & BJ Penn, Kenny & Keith Florian; and let’s not forget the Gracie Family.

I have the fortune of being a twin myself; I’ve never wanted to win more than when squaring off with my brother.  It’s the reason he got six staples in his head when we were six in a “friendly” wrestling match, and it’s the reason he was bleeding from the head during a “fake” trampoline WWE-esque match in high school that was broken up as real punches flew. It’s the reason I’ve seen Joe Lauzon punch his brother in the face over stolen mashed potatoes and a game of poker. I’m sure every set of brothers I’ve mentioned has countless stories of their own. 

In the gym, your brother is the guy that pushes you to train harder and fight harder. He won’t stop because he’s tired – he knows that’ll make him the bitch. He won’t tap to a half-assed submission – he know he’ll hear about it until the next time. It’s because of this innate sense of one-upsmanship that each brother constantly improves. And thus lies the paradox, it’s both brothers striving to beat the other that continually propels both forward and in the end is what makes them both successful, as the quest to get better,  to one-up your brother never ends.

By the way Jay, last time we rolled, I tapped you.

Now the Rua brothers have lost their best training partner, each other. For the first time in memory, Ninja was not in his brother’s corner this Saturday at UFC on FOX 4 when Shogun fought Brandon Vera.

Murilo Rua ‏@ninja_rua
Galera eu não estive com o Mauricio nessa luta porque tenho um problema com o Dida e n concordo com o corner e os treinos dele
(Translation: “Guys, I was not with Mauricio in this fight because I have a problem with Dida. I do not agree with the way he corners and drills him”)

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As reported by Fighter’s Only, Murilo offered details on the split in an interview with the Portuguese language UOL Esportes. The two had jointly run Universidade da Luta team in their native Curitiba. The cause is a rift with Andrea Dida, Shogun’s head coach.

“I was not there [in the corner] because I had a problem with Dida’s coaching in Mauricio’s last fight [against Dan Henderson]. Then he came to me and said I would not be training with my brother, so I thought it best to follow my path. Now I’m just his brother, I do not do any training with him,” Ninja explained.

“I did not like how he was leading the preparation of Mauricio for the fight against Dan Henderson. I may err, but I’m his brother and I’m always with him. I did not like the things [Dida] spoke and did. But now I’m training at another gym, happy, and on my way in search of other achievements and opportunities.”

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