After "dark days" of career, UFC 104's Shogun Rua doesn't care what you think
LOS ANGELES – For a man who not too long ago was widely considered the best light heavyweight fighter in the world, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua (18-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) isn't being given much of a chance in his UFC title bout with current champ Lyoto Machida (15-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC).
But as the all-Brazilian main event of Saturday's "UFC 104: Machida vs. Shogun" pay-per-view card nears, Rua has a simple message for those who may doubt him: Don't believe the hype.
"I don't care really about the criticism and all that talk," Rua told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) through his manager, Eduardo Alonso. "Whatever people want to say, they're entitled to their opinions. It's a matter of me taking care of what I say and what I do and showing my work."
'TUF 8' Winner Ryan Bader Aims to Dictate Fight vs. Experienced Eric Schafer
The Ultimate Fighter 8 winner Ryan Bader says his keys to beating Eric "Red" Schafer at UFC 104 is to dictate the fight and avoid Schafer's experienced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game.
Bader, one of the many wrestler-turned-MMA fighters out of the Arizona Combat Sports camp in Tempe, recently spoke with FanHouse as he looks to improve his undefeated MMA and UFC records to 11-0 and 3-0, respectively, on Nov. 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif.
Ray Hui: This is your third straight UFC opponent whose specialty is grappling, but Schafer is probably the most well-rounded.
Ryan Bader: Eliot [Marshall] was pretty well-rounded also. He has some decent standup so I'd say Eliot was probably the most well-rounded as far as striking and jiu-jitsu, but what Eric Schafer brings to the table is experience, being in the big shows with guys like [Michael] Bisping, [Stephan] Bonnar and Houston Alexander and what not. He's been around the game so he definitely has that advantage.
Wren thinks Jackson is not a coach
5. It sure looked like Rampage and his coaches gave little support to their fighters after they lost. What was your impression?
Justin Wren – “I absolutely have to agree with you. I heard Rampage saying it was the editing but even though his fighters liked him; look at the last TUF he was on and his record was 1-7. From the day I got there I knew I didn’t want to be on his team and I don’t think it has anything to do with the editing. He really did just ditch his fighters and to be honest he is no coach. I was really fortunate to be on Rashad’s Team.”
20 Questions for the Machida patriarch
Sherdog.com: Did you see Lyoto rescuing the real Karate?
Yoshizo: Yes, because the fight can’t only be about taking points from the opponent. For example, the guy can score 20 points in Judo, but if he takes an Ippon, he will loose, just like in jiu-jitsu. For what reason are the points important? If the guy is submitted or knocked out, it’s over. I always tell Lyoto that he has to finish the fight, not just take points. Once it starts, he has to try to finish as soon as possible. Of course, sometimes someone who paid to see five rounds will probably be disappointed to see the fight end in the first round, but the real fighter wants to see the fight finished as soon as possible.
Sherdog.com: Can you describe your first trip to Brazil?
Yoshizo: It was a very hard trip, a total of 40 days. The ship stopped in Hawaii, Argentina, Uruguay, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and finally in Belem. The ocean was so powerful that I remember that I spent the first 15 days vomiting. When I was down to 120 pounds, someone gave me whisky. Then I found out that if I got drunk, I couldn’t feel the ocean shaking the ship. After that, I got used to it and started to teach karate to everybody on the ship, and it was really nice.
Sherdog: What was it like after you arrived?
Yoshizo: When I arrived in Belem, I got a job thanks to Japanese immigration and a Japanese company that used to build roads. I worked on that for one year and then went to Rio de Janeiro, where I spent two weeks with Master Tanaka. Right after that, I went to Sao Paulo, where I met Inoki’s brother, and I started to take care of their academy. Later on, I went to Bahia, where I opened my own academy. Since then, I’ve taught more than 10,000 students, but only 250 received the black belt. I arrived here with only two pairs of clothes, nothing else, and I only knew how to say three things -- good morning, good evening and hungry. I didn’t sleep in the streets, but in the academies, without food, I dealt with hard times. After some time, I had my own academy and students. Today, I can say I’m a happy man. I believe every man has to do what he really likes in life, no matter if it’s common or different from other people. You have to try your best to be different from others. Today, that’s very difficult.
Sherdog: How do people in Japan see karate today?
Yoshizo: In the past, karate was just for self-defense and was used in fighting. Today, it’s much more like a sport and focused on competitions. I, just like many of my teachers, think the karate philosophy is being left out. Karate needs to be used to finish the opponent. Today, the fighters are faster, stronger and better prepared, but they fight to take points from the opponent. I think it should return to its origins in self defense.
Sherdog: How do you feel when Lyoto’s fights go the distance and people call him a boring fighter?
Yoshizo: The fighters need to work on his defensive positions; that’s why my son has never been seriously hit. But for the promoter, sometimes it was not a good show. There are many strong guys out there, and each fighter needs to have his strategy. Against Rashad, I told him to forget about the belt and take him down as fast as he could, and that’s what he did. This is martial arts. Anyone who practices a martial art knows about it, no matter which martial art it is. Our son is not making a show yet because, to make a show, you have to be really superior. In his last two fights, he has given a great show. Now, he understands he’s strong. I love Anderson Silva’s fights because he’s an artist inside the Octagon. A lot of people don’t like it because they think he wants to play and have fun. I don’t see it that way. I see him as a showman who’s very strong. Deep in his heart, he knows he can finish the fight when he wants. Anderson was born like that. Lyoto is different. He wasn’t born like that, but as he trains more, trusts his karate and believes in his style, he’s getting more confident and is giving a better performance each time out.
Sherdog: As competitor, were you more like Chinzo or Lyoto?
Yoshizo: Certainly Chinzo, because I was really fast. Between 23 and 36, nobody could touch me. I used my wrists very well. I’m very small, and I used to fight against guys who were stronger and heavier; if they touched me, I’d fall down, so I trained my speed a lot. I’m teaching that to Lyoto because he’s big, but when compared to some of his UFC opponents, he’s small.
Sherdog: You said Lyoto’s defense is very good. Do you think he would have won as many fights in MMA if he had a style similar to you and Chinzo?
Yoshizo: No. He would have lost already. Me and Chinzo have a real offensive style. We attack. Lyoto is more cautious, and thanks to that, he developed a lot of his defense. One of the best things about our karate in MMA is that it combines defenses and attacks. That’s why he’s doing so well in this sport.
Sherdog: What’s the difference between Machida karate and Shotokan karate?
Yoshizo: Shotokan nowadays is pretty much focused on competition. Machida karate thinks competition is very important -- we have many champions -- but we separate Machida karate. In the ring, our goal is to punish and take down an opponent. On the other side, Shotokan karate, which I also teach, is pretty much an educational sport.
Sherdog: Did you participate in any karate competitions in Brazil?
Yoshizo: I couldn’t compete in the Brazilian national championships because I’m Japanese. But in 1970, I was invited to participate in the Champions of the Champions Cup, where I beat five state champions from Minas, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Bahia. In the final, I defeated the Brazilian national champion, Caribe, who was very famous at that time. Back then, the competition was much more violent; the goal was to take down the opponent.
Sherdog: We see a lot of fighters win championships and take 20- or 30-day vacations. But Lyoto, after nine months of training without break, could not even take an eight-day vacation. On the second day, he called his trainer and said he wanted to train.
Yoshizo: Lyoto likes the routine of training. He likes to train every day. His goal is to always improve, not only to defend his belt but to test new techniques; that’s very important in martial arts.
Sherdog: What about urine therapy. How did you start doing that?
Yoshizo: Actually, this technique was used in China and India a long time ago. I started doing that after reading a book about a Japanese doctor who was in World War II. When the medicines ran out, he told the soldiers to drink their urine, and it worked as a vaccine. I started doing that three years ago, and it’s working fine. I never get sick anymore. Lyoto is doing the same, and he also likes the results.
Sherdog: Did your master send you to Brazil to make karate popular there?
Yoshizo: No, I wanted to go because I love to train. If I go two days without karate training, I get mad. When I got here, I received some support from Japanese friends who helped me financially so I could take care of the academy. There are other Japanese masters in Brazil who faced the same situation. Later, I was able to open my own academy in Belem.
Sherdog: Is it true that you took care of Conde Koma’s bones?
Yoshizo: About 30 years ago, there was a heavy rain in Belem that destroyed Mitsuyo Maeda Koma’s grave in the cemetery. His friend, Sakaeoti, who was about 80 years old at the time, told me about it. He always told me many stories about Mitsuyo, about how much he helped Japanese people who came to Brazil. Sakaeoti and I went to the cemetery, and I collected Koma’s bones and cleaned them. With the support of Kokushikan University, which rebuilt Koma’s tomb, we buried his bones again in a new grave paid for by the university.
Sherdog: Koma was a great fighter and was the man who taught jiu-jitsu to the Gracies. If it were not for him, we probably wouldn’t have MMA or the UFC. Do you believe his Samurai spirit may be helping Lyoto in the Octagon?
Yoshizo: My family and I believe in spiritualism and reincarnation. Koma is probably helping Lyoto.
Sherdog: Having spent 70 days with Satoshi Ishii, do you believe he can become an MMA champion?
Yoshizo: I can’t tell. He’s an excellent athlete. He never gets tired. I think he’ll adapt really fast to MMA. In the beginning, he was getting beaten badly by Lyoto, but after two months, he improved a lot. I corrected his posture, taught him how to walk in the ring. Sometimes during training, he cried, not because he was tired but because of the high humidity near the Amazon. He has the Samurai spirit and always finished every exercise I gave to him. I’ve heard he visited and trained at the Renzo Gracie academy in New York and people liked him.
Sherdog: What do you expect from Lyoto’s next challenge against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 104? How long do you expect Lyoto to keep the title?
Yoshizo: I can’t say anything because it depends on him. He has to train and believe because he’s going to face Shogun, who’s also strong and well-prepared. Lyoto’s preparation for this fight will be very important. He needs to be strong, not only physically and technically; his spirit and his mind also need to be well-prepared.
Sherdog: Do you think Shogun will be a tougher opponent than Rashad Evans?
Yoshizo: No, Rashad was much more difficult and not just because of the technique. Against him, we were also fighting against the pressure of the crowd. He was the local champion. But, for sure, Shogun is a very tough opponent who will give us a lot of work studying his game.
Sherdog: What was the party like here in Belem when Lyoto returned with the belt?
Yoshizo: It was a big party. The mayor even invited us to have breakfast with him. Last week, we were invited by the Japanese consulate to have dinner with the Japanese community in Belem. It’s very good to have my son so recognized, as long as it doesn’t bother his training. If the event doesn’t bother his training, he will go. I already explained to him that a lot of people want this belt, so he has to be in great shape always.
Sherdog: Besides your son, who do you like to see fight in MMA?
Yoshizo: I like [Antonio Rodrigo] “Minotauro” [Nogueira] very much, because even when he’s on the ground, he can solve the situation very calmly. He’s a real fighter. Standing up, I like Anderson Silva, because he plays with the opponent. He’s a showman.
Sherdog: How do you think a fight between Lyoto and Anderson Silva would play out?
Yoshizo: It’s hard to say. They have a similar style. It would depend on how well-prepared each one would be. I can’t say who would win.
Ben Rothwell Says He's About to Make The Gamblers Happy
After nearly ten years in the fight business, moving from one small organization to another, Ben Rothwell will finally make his UFC debut next Saturday night at UFC 104 in Los Angeles. There he meets highly-touted AKA fighter and former All-American wrestler Cain Velasquez. Talking with Rothwell for this week’s SI.com column on the heavyweight clash, he says he has some surprises in store for the people who are still basing their opinions of him off the Andrei Arlvoski fight, and if Velasquez found himself in a little bit of trouble against Cheick Kongo, he’s really in for it on October 24.
Jorge Santiago on life in the USA and getting back to the UFC
American Top Team fighter Jorge Santiago has been preparing for his upcoming fight on November 7th, however, none opponent is announced untill today. Santiago denied a rumour about a fight versus veteran Kevin Randleman saying that was a lie and also says he won’t face King Mo Lawal at all.
“We’re friends and there’s no chance of this bout take place. He even came to help me with wrestling for my last fight” Santiago said to Brasil Combate today.
Jorginho – as he is called by his friends – is totally adapted to the American way of life and has been living in USA for eight years with his wife and daughter.
Matt Serra's Road Back to UFC Welterweight Title Begins in February
If you're wondering why Matt Serra hasn't been booked to fight since his UFC 98 clash against rival Matt Hughes in May, it's not because he's been injured or taking the loss too hard. No, Serra has simply been busy working on his new 83,000 square foot MMA gym that will be opening soon.
"It's going to be a beautiful martial arts facility," Serra told FanHouse on Thursday. "It's going to be the best one on Long Island, that's for sure."
Cain Velasquez Chasing UFC Heavyweight Title ... And Perfection
In few sports is true perfection attainable. In baseball, a pitcher can retire 27 batters in a row (it's only been done 18 times in over 100 years). A bowler can reach perfection with strikes in 12 straight frames. In football, a quarterback can somewhat illogically boast of a perfect passer rating even in a game where he does not complete all his passes (and even in a game that his team loses).
So the concept of perfection in sports is difficult to quantify, explain and achieve. Nonetheless, it's what motivates rising heavyweight star Cain Velasquez, who faces Ben Rothwell (30-6) at UFC 104 on Oct. 24.
Despite his 6-0 record with five stoppages, Velasquez remains his own worst critic as he continues his ascent to what he hopes will soon be a date with the heavyweight championship on the line. The new father of 4 1/2 month old daughter Coral recently took some time to talk to FanHouse about his demanding personality, switching opponents from Shane Carwin to Rothwell, and his response to critics.
War Machine Is Fed Up With Life in US
WM wants to leave US basically because he can't beat anybody up in the streets and bars due to the cops and the consequences ... He's thinking about maybe Brazil , Philippines or Ireland. Also talks about his next opponent and how he think he sucks ( the opponent) . I don't know much about streets in Philippines but would recommend Brazil or Ireland why not. There's a few tough boys there so i would picture War Machine coming back to US in a pink skirt if he doesn't get hurt worse before that .
Anyway, This is the most pathetic interview I've ever had a chance to read.
Check it out Boyz and give your opinions.
Hellboy ready for Aoki, welcomes Alvarez fight
MMAWEEKLY.COM: You're coming into this fight following a 14-month layoff, the longest of your career. How excited are you to finally have the opportunity to get in the ring and defend your lightweight title?
JOACHIM HANSEN: I am very happy to be back again! I was actually ready to fight for a while. With Dream’s consent, I even tried to be a part of the 20th anniversary Shooto show in May. However, they could not find me an opponent at short notice so that did not happen. So the desire to fight has never gone away.
Chuck Liddell Sounds Like a Man Who Wants to Fight
The last time I talked to Chuck Liddell, in August, he wasn't ready to say whether he would retire from the UFC. Two months later, he still isn't ready -- but I got the sense then, and I still get the sense from a TV interview he gave Monday, that he's itching to get back into the Octagon. Video below.
MFC Champ Antonio McKee: 'I'm the Best Wrestler in MMA'
Antonio McKee has been known to fight a methodical (safe) style due to small paydays, but now that there's more money involved, he plans on shedding his reputation of decisions at Friday's MFC 22 against Carlo Prater in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
"You're going to get a standup war in this fight," said McKee, who has been undefeated since a 2003 decision loss to Karo Parisyan. "If I lose this fight it's because I stood up and I tried to bang and I got caught."
In this exclusive interview with FanHouse, McKee explains his safe fighting style in the past that sacrificed entertainment, and why he believes there is no lightweight out there that can beat him – including UFC champ BJ Penn.
Dana White Delivers for NYC Fans, Talks 'TUF' Superfight and Respecting Kimbo
Late Monday night, Dana White tweeted that he would be handing out free tickets to UFC 104 at a Pinkberry in midtown Manhattan. Several minutes before his expected arrival, I decided to check out the scene, fully expecting there to be 10 to 15 people hanging outside. Not so.
When I arrived there were at least 50 people anxiously waiting for White, and when he showed up 30 minutes later, there were at least 100 people outside, along with two police officers. Without hesitation, White promised every single person there a free ticket to UFC 104 in Los Angeles. FanHouse then briefly spoke to White while he was enjoying his frozen yogurt about Wednesday's much-anticipated edition of The Ultimate Fighter featuring Kimbo Slice vs. Roy Nelson. The interview is below.
With or Without UFC, Roger Huerta Ready for Next Chapter of Life
As Maynard applied more torque to the hold and rotated Huerta's shoulder behind him at a disturbing angle, referee Dan Miragliotta stood watch, ready for a tapout that seemed immiment. After bending Huerta's arm about as far as the human appendage can go, Maynard told Miragliotta, "I'm breaking it!" Huerta, who could say nothing because Maynard had his leg covering his mouth, shook his head, telling Miragliotta not to stop the fight. Eventually, Huerta worked his way out.
"Maybe it was just the adrenaline, or maybe it was God protecting my arm," said Huerta, who suffered only a strained shoulder and elbow and was back working out within days. "I'll tell you this much: When he did start cranking it, I said, 'If it goes, it goes.' Even if it did break, I wouldn't tap. I thought, 'I'm not tapping. I'm finishing this fight.'
Roy Nelson Talks About Kimbo Bout
"Roy Nelson and Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson are the two biggest names on The Ultimate Fighter 10, and on the next episode the two square off in an elimination bout. While several contestants were licking their chops at the opportunity to fight "Kimbo," Nelson wasn't one of them.
Coach Quinton "Rampage" Jackson picked the first two match ups on the show and Rashad Evans' team won both of them. When Evans got the chance to play match maker, he immediately put his most seasoned fighter against Jackson's most known. Nelson spoke with MMAWeekly.com about how the bout with "Kimbo" was made."
Chute Boxe leader talks Machida vs. Shogun
“That’s a tough fight, really tough, and I think that, when we talk about team partners, Lyoto is more consistent, but Shogun is a brave guy and can overcome. We have to wait, I think is 50% for each. They’re two top athletes, Lyoto is on an extraordinary phase, and Shogun has that impetus. And don’t know with whom he’s training, and I think that maybe this partners can make the difference”, said Fedrigo, in the exclusive interview you can read here.
Rafael Dos Anjos and the first UFC victory
Rafael dos Anjos had reasons to celebrate on UFC 103. Winning for the first time in the UFC octagon, Rafael went back to Brazil with the job done, and spoke with TATAME.com about the unanimous decision victory over Rob Emerson. “The victory came on the right time. I was waiting for almost a year for it, it was very important, a decisive moment to me. I make the fight go the way I imagined in my head and it was perfect“, said Rafael, who worked the kicks really well.
Jacaré talks ADCC ’09 and Strikeforce debut
“I’m excited, I’m training a lot MMA and you can expect a show from me. I’ll make my job and I’ll take the belt from whoever has it. I’ll do my job, taking fight by fight, and when they put me to fight for the belt I’ll be ready“, guarantees, seeing Jason Miller, who he defeated on Dream, being rumored to a title fight. “Let that clown fight for the belt, then I’ll take it from him (laughs)“, finished the black belt.
Kenny Florian looking to make a statement against Clay Guida on Dec.12
“I think a lot of people like watching Clay fight because he’s always going to be in your face, he’s always right there. He’s one of those guys who’s not the most technical fighter in the world, but I tell you on any given day he can beat you — and that goes from the best at 155 to the middle of the pack. He’s always right there and he’s gonna be knockin’ on that door so I have to be ready. It’s not hard to get up for a fight against Clay Guida. I know I have my hands full and it’s a fight I’m looking forward to. It’s an honor to fight a guy like that and hopefully we can have a war like he’s had in the past and put on a good fight. I don’t know how it’s going to finish but it’s going to be an exciting fight while it lasts. I definitely don’t want to win by judges decision, I’m going to try and make a statement with this fight.”