by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
In a battle that was years in the making, Maurcio “Shogun” Rua took a big step forward in proving he is back to the form in which he was the top 205lb fighter in the world just two years ago, with a TKO win over UFC legend, Chuck Liddell, that could be his last ever fight in the Octagon.
After back to back performances in which he looked somewhat lackluster, Rua came out aggressive early, landing good leg kicks, and firing overhand punches trying to exploit Liddell’s previous defensive problems.
Early in the round, Shogun actually executed a perfect takedown on Liddell, and quickly moved to try and take his opponent’s back. Liddell as always was fast back to his feet, but Rua then moved to try for a leg lock, but the California native fought his way out and the two were back on the feet again.
Liddell went for a takedown of his own, but let Rua back up almost immediately and the two former champions went back to battling on the feet.
With both light heavyweights trading shots, Rua clipped Liddell perfectly with a big left hook that put the “Iceman” down on the canvas. Shogun followed up with a few more punches and hammer fists before referee Mario Yamasaki steps in to stop the fight in the first round.
An elated Shogun addressed the crowd following his win, and a certain level of redemption after 2 disappointing fights to open his UFC career.
“I am happy,” Rua yelled to the Montreal crowd after the win. “Liddell is legend in MMA.”
Now riding a 2 fight win streak and a victory over former 205lb champion, Chuck Liddell, Shogun enters himself back into contender’s status in a growing light heavyweight division, but has no problem with whoever he may face next.
“I will fight anyone, whoever Dana White or Joe Silva wants me to fight,” Shogun said. “I never pick anyone in my career and I’m not going to start now.”
Following the fight while Shogun celebrated, the attention turned to Chuck Liddell, who has now dropped 4 out of his last 5 fights, and the legend didn’t have many answers for commentator Joe Rogan.
“I’m disappointed,” Liddell commented. “I had a great camp. I was in great shape. Things just weren’t firing for me.”
When asked point blank if he plans to come back or retire, Liddell said he has a lot to think about when he heads home to San Luis Obispo, CA.
“I’ve got to go home and talk to everybody. It just didn’t feel right tonight, so I don’t know,” Liddell said about his possible retirement.
Shogun will now look to get back into the title hunt, while Chuck Liddell will contemplate what the best future for him will be, in or out of the Octagon.