Not sure if this got posted anywhere else.http://tatame.com/2012/06/14/Shogun-tal ... om-the-UFC
--------------------Shogun talks fighting Vera, the Glover controversy and if he really asked to get cut from the UFC
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua spoke to TATAME in Curitiba, where he is training for Brandon Vera, whom he fights with at UFC on FOX 4, and talked about the last polemics. On a honest chat, the former champion revealed why he didn’t accept fighting Glover Teixeira, making his boss, Dana White, pissed off. He also analyzed his bout against Brandon Vera.
“They asked me to fight Glover, then I talked to my team and we decided not to fight Glover because he’s a top guy but, but he’s building a career in the UFC. He fought once and it was on an undercard”, explains Shogun. “It’s not interesting for me right now. Maybe in the future… If I defeated him I wouldn’t reach a level of having a chance at the title”.
It’s a month before the fight and you are already doing great. How are you?
Thank you. Actually I have one month and a half (laughs). We’re using good timing with this and I’m training hard to fight in Canada. I got a couple of extra weeks and here at the gym there’re Werdum, Wanderlei, Sergio, who’s fighting at UFC BH, so I’m training with them. I’m feeling fine and I just gotta keep training for August 4th.
Wanderlei and Werdum are also fighting. Does it help on your training?
Absolutely. It’s a great motivation for us having big champions like them. It’s very good.
UFC had to replace you opponent few times. How does it influence on your training?
No. To say the truth, the first part of my training is the same independently of whom I’m fighting with. What changes is on the last month, which is when I focus on my opponent. The replacement happened before that, so in a couple of weeks I’ll train focusing on Brandon Vera. For now I’m training my conditioning.
You haven’t fought since November, when you fought Dan Henderson. Is it a bad thing since you’re not active?
No. Ultimate wants to preserve its athletes. At Pride I got to fight five times a year. At Ultimate I do three. I’m well adapted to it now and I’m training for a long time, but I wasn’t training hard since it was far. Now I’m intensifying it. My team knows how to handle it, so it’s great.
What are the expectations for this fight?
He’s a tall guy who likes to use his Muay Thai and so do I. I always go for the knockout. I guess it’s going to be a good fight to watch, fans will like it.
Where he is most dangerous at?
I guess at Muay Thai. He kicks a lot, so I have to pay attention to that part of his game.
You trained with Sergio Moraes, a two-time world champion of Jiu-Jitsu. Are you ready for fighting on the ground?
Of course. Sergio joined us and it was a great acquisition. Besides being a good athlete, he is a good teacher, is very didactic, so he was a great guy to add to our team. I’m very motivated with him and Dida.
Despite all the mess about who you are fighting against, there was a rumor about you declining a fight with Glover Teixeira, which made Dana White mad. What really happened?
They asked me to fight Glover, my manager told me and then I talked to my team and we decided not to fight Glover because he’s a top guy but, but he’s building a career in the UFC. He fought once and it was on an undercard, so it’s not fair. I made it clear that it wasn’t interesting for us now. But in a while it may happen, but not now.
Is your goal now to have a title shot?
Actually everyone wants it. It’s not interesting for me right now. Maybe in the future… If I defeated him I wouldn’t reach a level of having a chance at the title. He’s a top guy, but he just got here and doesn’t have a history in the UFC. Three, four fights from now it’s possible, but not now. Dana White commented I rather leave UFC than fighting him but it was not true. UFC never thought about it neither did I. At any point I said I would leave in case I fought him. I just said it was not interesting right now and that’s why we had our agreement. This conversation never happened.
You usually accept fighting anyone. You said yes to a fight against Jon Jones three weeks before the actual fight when you were preparing to fight Rashad Evans. You were fighting Thiago Silva, who’s a old training partner at Chute Boxe.
Jon Jones is a guy I fought in 2011. In 2010 he was the most promising UFC fighter, he was coming from a good sequence of victories, so he had a history in the UFC. And it’s the same if you ask me about Thiago Silva. He fought in many main events, fought with Lyoto, Rashad, Gustafsson, so he’s a very known guy in the UFC. Thiago is a top guy and has a whole career in the event, so it’s different.
They offered you any other name?
No. First I was fighting Rampage. He got injured. Then came Thiago, who also got injured. They offered me Glover, we didn’t accept and then UFC offered me Brandon Vera in August, in Los Angeles.
What can the fans hope to see in you on August 4th?
Fans can hope I’ll do my best because I face fighting as my whole life. I don’t give up, so they can expect I do my best in there, for sure.
In case you win, as Lyoto fights the same day you will, maybe he can be your next opponent on a second edition of TUF Brazil. What are your thoughts about that?
Actually I’m focused on Brandon Vera. After the fight I’ll think about it. TUF is something I really desire to be part of. I hope to be a coach there sometime independently of who is the other coach. I guess it probably is Lyoto (laughs).
Where will you be at the ranking if you win?
As I said, I’m thinking about Brandon Vera. He deserves to be respected, he’s a good athlete and I only hear good things about him as a person, so I’m focused on him. UFC is going through a tough moment, there are many athletes getting hurt. I want to win this fight and then I think about the belt.