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Pros Picks: Liddell vs. Rua

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Who takes it?
Liddell - (T)KO 40 59%
Liddell - Sub 2 3%
Liddell - Dec 8 12%
Shogun - (T)KO 11 16%
Shogun - Sub 2 3%
Shogun - Dec 5 7%
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grappler0000

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A few years back, a showdown between Chuck Liddell and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua would have been a fight fan’s dream matchup. Liddell was the defending UFC light heavyweight champion and at the top of his game while laying out opponents like kitchen tile. Rua was on a meteoric rise through Pride Fighting Championships’ ranks, rivaling Liddell’s fistic floor masonry in Japan. Before Zuffa bought out Pride, it seemed like a full-scale tilt between these two explosive knockout artists would never materialize.

Thankfully the fight will finally come to fruition this Saturday at UFC 97 in Montreal, but like Liddell’s stellar conquest of Rua’s former Chute Boxe teammate Wanderlei Silva, the matchup is being purchased off the shelf a few years after its expiration date. Looking at his most recent bouts, Liddell’s age appears to be catching up to him and the 39-year-old icon just might be a bit past his fighting prime.

Rua, 27, has had a rocky transition to the cage, where his stamina has been harshly tested. Once feared for his heavy, looping punches, Liddell has been knocked out at the hands of Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans in the last two years. Rua was soundly beaten by Forrest Griffin and nearly suffocated in a near hilarious, though triumphant, scuffle with fighting fossil Mark Coleman.

Luckily for the fans though, Liddell-Rua should still be an all-out war, a skirmish that could wind up being a “fight of the year” candidate when all is said and done. Will Liddell’s experience and hunger to recapture his title, along with a new striking coach, earn him another highlight-reel knockout? Will Rua have made the necessary adjustments to avoid exahaustion and finally get on the tear that UFC fans expected from him from the start?

Many professional trainers and fighters think they have the answer to those questions. Sherdog.com recently polled dozens of the pros in an attempt to get a read on the pulse of the MMA elite. Some were a little hesitant to comment on the fight, but the brave ones put their names and reputations on the line and boldly picked a winner.

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Post #1   4/16/09 5:12:07PM   

grappler0000

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I'm picking Liddell, but I honestly thought the picks wouldn't be so one sided.

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Post #2   4/16/09 5:13:22PM   

KaibaThedon

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Chucky by UD I guess.

_______________________________________
HW: Cigano
LHW: Dragon, Ace
MW: Weidman
WW: Rush, Natural Born Killer, Ares, Hitman, Maia
LW: Jim Miller, Smooth, Khabib Eagle
FW: Aldo, Do Bronx, Answer
BW: Cruz, Mayday, One Punch, Barao

Post #3   4/16/09 5:36:15PM   

loller90278

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i'm honestly surprised at how uneven the pics are. 18-2 by the pros? am i the only one pretty confident that shogun will win? I doubt chuck learned everything there is to know about defense from training with H. Davis, and Shogun looks to be in good shape (from the countdown show). I'm expecting a trip takedown from shogun late in the first and some sort of leg lock.

Post #4   4/16/09 6:25:04PM   

postman

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Duke Roufus seems confident in Chuck might change my pick. I hope its a war!

Post #5   4/16/09 6:26:11PM   

Chuteboxer

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Posted by loller90278

i'm honestly surprised at how uneven the pics are. 18-2 by the pros? am i the only one pretty confident that shogun will win? I doubt chuck learned everything there is to know about defense from training with H. Davis, and Shogun looks to be in good shape (from the countdown show). I'm expecting a trip takedown from shogun late in the first and some sort of leg lock.



You're not the only one. This whole lopsided affair is ridiculous. Rua had a bad day against Forrest, who's looked great recently, and he had a bad day against Coleman. Only one of those are inexcusable, but I don't think Rua's gonna come into this fight with the cardio problems he did last time. He should have adjusted by now.

Chuck's the one who's not the same. Sharpening boxing skills is fine, but even then, I'm not sure he's gonna be any different from what he's been doing in all his other fights. I'll go out on a limb and call it. Rua by third round TKO.

Post #6   4/16/09 7:53:54PM   

EvenFlow

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The pro picks on sherdog are notoriously made up, especially a poll like 18-2 which is just ridiculous. Look at the Shamrock vs Diaz poll, you can see the same bias opinions in almost every "pro pick" on there. All sherdog has shown in this respect is to show us most pros are terrible at picks. Even if some or all of them were real whats the point of having it when you have polls that are 18-2 when its clearly a close fight and should even be reversed or at least close.

I've heard all the rebuttal for Liddell's case but the fact of the matter is hes one dimentional and training with all the thai boxing and boxing coaches in the world arnt going to get his overall striking up to par with Shogun's in one training camp. Where as Shogun's cardio can be turned in that amount of time because hes finally healthy training properly without injuries. I'll remind everyone since they still seem to forget, Shogun fought Forrest with an injury and got off surgery before the Coleman fight.

Liddell could land a big shot for the knockout, but whens the last time he did? UFC 57 against Randy, even Tito gave chuck fits standing. I like Chuck a lot hes one of the coolest people you can meet but he hasnt evolved and I'm shocked that hes the "safe pick" just because people are fickle and dont understand knee injuries or more specifically leg injuries and how it affects training. I guess we'll see all the bandwagon jumpers true colors regardless of the outcome especially if Shogun wins people will convert over and it will be hilarious.

Post #7   4/16/09 7:56:39PM   

sparky

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Patrick Cote: I’ll go with Chuck by super overhand [that will] knock the **** out of Rua.

I like how Cote thinks!!!!!

Post #8   4/16/09 7:59:08PM   

chitownsfinest15

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so how many more "bad days" can we give Rua? i mean come one...a high profile fighter like himself doesnt really have bad days...the forres fight he obviously didnt seem to enthused about fighting him so he was trying to scrap out a decision in the end...and coleman he wasnt even ready for...guy was out of shape and looked like garbage...i'm sick of everyone saying hes always having bad days...give it up...

Post #9   4/16/09 8:10:55PM   

xphycorx

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everyone needs to get off liddell's d***. he's done.

Post #10   4/16/09 8:12:33PM   

chitownsfinest15

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if they are so made up then why is ti that the poll on here has everyone chuck winning the fight? makes no sense on what your saying...

Post #11   4/16/09 8:14:47PM   

chuckw94

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Shogun by decision

Post #12   4/16/09 8:24:09PM   

EvenFlow

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Posted by chitownsfinest15

so how many more "bad days" can we give Rua? i mean come one...a high profile fighter like himself doesnt really have bad days...the forres fight he obviously didnt seem to enthused about fighting him so he was trying to scrap out a decision in the end...and coleman he wasnt even ready for...guy was out of shape and looked like garbage...i'm sick of everyone saying hes always having bad days...give it up...



What kind of ignorant rant is this? do you understand injuries at all, let alone leg/knee injuries? I guess not.

Last edited 4/16/09 8:33PM server time by EvenFlow
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Post #13   4/16/09 8:29:08PM   

loller90278

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and on a side note, shogun's never been KO'd. I doubt chuck can knock him out if chuck couldn't even KO wanderlei. He hit him with some really good shots and wanderlei didn't even flinch, and wanderlei's not known for his chin.

Post #14   4/16/09 9:02:22PM   

postman

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Sticking with Shogun Leg kicks baby leg kicks Then a head kick

Last edited 4/16/09 9:09PM server time by postman
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Post #15   4/16/09 9:09:23PM   
 
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