by MMAWeekly TV
(Photo courtesy of Greg Honda)
Murilo “Ninja” Rua on Saturday looks to follow in Quinton Jackson’s footsteps and become the next fighter to unify two high-profile mixed martial arts titles.
Neither the EliteXC middleweight strap that Ninja currently holds, nor the Icon Sport title that his opponent, Robbie Lawler, possesses are as storied as the UFC and Pride titles currently conjoined by Jackson, but attaining both will be a major achievement for Saturday’s winner.
“I feel great and I am ready to fight,” Ninja said, speaking from Honolulu, where the fight will take place. “This is going to be a good fight. Lawler is a tough guy. But I feel the longer the fight goes, the better it will be for me.
“Lawler is going to be very dangerous, especially early, but he gets careless and leaves himself open at times.
“The ground and his conditioning are his weaknesses.”
Ninja on the other hand feels that he is in excellent shape to win this fight. He told MMAWeekly that he trained three times a day, every day for this bout with Lawler.
Losing four of his last five fights in the Pride organization, Ninja went through a rough stretch before embarking on his current streak of three straight victories.
He really established his return to success by defeating Joey Villasenor for the EliteXC belt at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Baroni.
Adding Lawler’s Icon Sport middleweight belt to his hardware would only seem to strengthen his argument of being one of the top middleweight fighters in the world.
MMAWeekly’s Ivan Canello spoke with Ninja before he left Brazil. Watch the entire video interview with Ninja, In The Cage, where he talks about his fight with Lawler, his brother Mauricio “Shogun” Rua’s upcoming UFC debut against Forrest Griffin at UFC 76, and much, much more.