On Saturday night, Mauricio Shogun Rua wound back the years to put on a strong performance against his long-time rival, Antônio Rogério Nogueira. Coming into Saturday’s co-main event, it had been 10 years since the pair first met in a memorable fight in Pride FC. While Saturday’s fight wouldn’t provide the fireworks of their first match up, there was still some admirable skills put on display.
Official result: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua defeats Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
What was the high point of the fight?
The opening round of this fight was fought at a frantic pace. Nogueira seemed to be getting the better of the fight on the feet and even rocked Shogun towards the end of the round. In the second and third rounds Shogun showed some veteran savvy to avoid Nogueira’s wild power and to take the fight to the ground. The high point of this fight was Shogun’s fight IQ. It was great to see the legend rely on his experience rather than his reckless abandon.
Where do these two go from here?
I firmly believed that Shogun should drop to middleweight after this fight until my esteemed colleague Phil Mackenzie talked some sense into me. Shogun needs to stay at 205 where his waning reaction time won’t be as exposed and his defense and penetrable. It’s time for Mauricio Rua to fight some fun fights. Let’s see Rampage vs. Shogun II as soon as possible.
While Antônio Rogério Nogueira never quite reached the career highs of his brother he will still go down as a legend. It is time that both Nogueira brothers went out to pasture and began to find their fighting successes vicariously through the crop of up-and-coming talent that they are training.
Watch now, later, or never?
Later. While this fight wasn’t as fun as their first fight it’s still worth a watch.
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