Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira originally faced each other in Pride in 2005 and they will finally have a rematch when they face each other in the co-main event of UFC 161 in two weeks.
Their first fight came in the 2005 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix Quarterfinals which Shogun won by unanimous decision and was considered one of the best fights of 2005.
Fast forward to 2013, Nogueira (21-5) is coming off a huge win at UFC 156 against former UFC champion Rashad Evans and Shogun has gone 2-3 in his last five fights with the defeats coming against Jon Jones, Dan Henderson and Alexander Gustafsson.
Shogun (21-7) decided to make some changes in how he trains as he spent some time with highly decorated boxing trainer Freddie Roach in California. During his UFC 161 Pre-Fight Interview, he explained why he decided to work on his boxing technique with Roach.
“I started training with Freddie Roach because my manager contacted him and his team,” Shogun said. “For me this is good because I’ve learned some thing that can make the difference against Rogerio Nogueria.”
“I was always confident in my boxing. In camp I always train a lot of boxing but Freddie showed me specific details that will help me improve my game. I am going to go back to Brazil and keep practicing what I learned and hope to apply it in the fight.”
One of the aspects that makes Nogueira a tough opponent for the former UFC champion is because of him being a southpaw. Shogun admitted that it makes him tough to deal with and he will be prepared for this fight.
“He is a southpaw and that already makes him harder to deal with. Nogueira is a guy who likes to set up his jab to throw his left hand. I know this and I am going to be prepared when we step inside the octagon.”
Shogun has not won back to back fights since 2009 and if he is unable to get a victory against Nogueira, it will be the first time in his career that he will have lost back to back fights.