Shogun Rua Tired of Title Questions, Believes Brandon Vera Deserves More Respect

August 2, 2012
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There are four fighters who could potentially get a light heavyweight title shot after UFC on Fox 4 is over, but everyone seems to be aiming directly at one person as the most likely candidate.

The criteria set forth by UFC president Dana White is whoever is most impressive during the Saturday night fight card will get the next crack at the 205-pound champion.

Most assume it’s Mauricio “Shogun” Rua who has the easiest path to the title shot, and so the questions are already coming at him rapid fire as if he’s already earned it.

But when you hear the tone in his voice and the direction in which he answers, he’s clearly not happy that everyone seems to be looking past his opponent, Brandon Vera.

Sure, Vera is 1-2-1 in his last four fights and hasn’t been a top ten light heavyweight at any point in his career. It’s true Vera wasn’t the first choice for the main event for the UFC on Fox show, and there were more than a few protesters to the idea that he even got the fight, much less those people entertaining the idea that he could win.

Rua on the other side is a legend of MMA. A former UFC champion, a former Pride Grand Prix champion, and consistently one of the most dangerous fighters in the division, Rua has been placed as a heavy favorite going into his bout with Vera. The Brazilian veteran warns those that would look past Vera, however, that as soon as you start believing your own hype, your whole world comes crashing down around you.

“This guy deserves the chance in the UFC because he has a great background in the UFC, and we must respect this. He fought in two different divisions, fought some tough guys, so I think the guy deserves respect. We can’t think that way that the guy doesn’t deserve the chance,” Rua told MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday.

“It can be a little dangerous to think I’m the favorite or this guy is the underdog, it’s like a trap. We must be focused in my game and my strategy and that’s the concern I have.”

It’s with a scowl that Shogun then answers the questions about the title shot. It’s hard to ignore because it is such a grand prize hanging over the heads of the fighters at this event, but Rua doesn’t want to even talk about that because if he loses to Brandon Vera none of that even matters.

He says it’s not really a distraction however because the only thing on his mind is the fight.

“It doesn’t matter. It’s not a distraction for me because I’m still focused like I was a month or two months ago. For me it’s important to win the fight, after that then I can think about the future. Right now, I’m just focused on Brandon Vera on Saturday,” said Rua.

When the fight is over and his hand is raised, then Rua will gladly talk about Jon Jones, Dan Henderson, and the light heavyweight title fight, but to get there he first has to get past Brandon Vera.

“I’m not thinking about the belt. My main goal this weekend is to beat Vera, then in the future I’ll start thinking about the belt. I’m still aggressive, I don’t change my plan, and I fight looking for the knockout. I want to give my fans a show,” said Shogun.

“With a huge victory it will be my ticket to the belt again.”


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  • Lesnardo

    I’ve seen so many fighters beef up their opponents immediately before the fight that I don’t believe anything on this article.

    “Crocop is as still dangerous as ever,” said Roy Nelson and Brenden Schaub.

    “Nog is still one of the top guys in the world, ” said Brenden Schaub before the fight in which he got KTFO but arguably the weakest puncher in the division.

    Sometimes I have to show respect to big mouths like Frank Mir and Rashad Evans. Frank Mir just talks crap on his opponents. Rashad Evans said, “come on…You really think he[Tito] is back after just one win [against Bader]?”

  • mma fanatic1982

    Shogun has to say vera is so great lol cuz he chicken out of the fight with glover. Said he wants bigger names lol oh yeah so he jumps at the vera fight like this is a good challenger. Psh, what a sissy lol but he shouldnt want to fight glover cuz.glover would destroy him! Nice try rua we dont believe u wanted this fight with vera cause hes a big name and so good lol!

  • gnodeb

    It’s not about respect, it’s about results. Vera is 1-3 in last 2 years and that one win is not against #10 fighter. He is not #10 too. Shogun is 1-2 in last 2 years and that one win is not against #10 fighter. If he wins that win won’t be against #10 too.
    They both don’t have results to be next in line for title shot. Looks like they got a chance just to add some weight to the FOX card. As a leading promotion UFC should be more serious about this…

    • Lesnardo

      WHY LIMIT IT TO 2 YEARS?

      SHOGUN WAS OUT FOR INJURY FOR A YEAR. SO YOU SHOULD LOOK AT THREE YEARS. ALSO, FORREST IS A TOP 15 FIGHTER, WHEREAS VERA IS NOT TOP 15 HIMSELF AND FOUGHT TOP 30 OR 40 GUYS.

      SHOGUN HAS DONE WELL IN THE LAST 3 THREE YEARS. HE BEAT MACHIDA.

  • pooby

    Vera hasn’t been relevant since he knocked out Mir.

    He should have to rematch and beat T.Silva before he is even mentioned as a contender.

    • Lesnardo

      T. SILVA MADE VERA HIS GIRLFRIEND.

      IF YOU WERE VERA, WOULD YOU WANT ANOTHER WIFE BEATING IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE WORLD?

  • http://www.combatsciencemma.com CombatScienceMMA

    Shoguns such a respectful guy and true fighter. I don’t think he’s hyping anything up; he just knows Brandon Vera is still tough fight. Wins and losses are going to happen. Doesn’t mean Vera’s an easy fight or not talented.

  • http://www.facebook.com/yannick.messaoud yannickmessaoud

    Each and every MMA fighter deserve respect either they are good, bad or been on a downside low.

    This is not pro wrestling and i really hope that MMA never sinks to that low. There is no need to talk trash before a fight. Its a competition.

    Anyone that gets into the cage deserve respect, anyone who trains in MMA deserve respect because its very hard.

  • mma fanatic1982

    I.agree they derserve respect. Ive been in the cage and trying to train and it is very hard. But rua is not being true when he ducks the glover fight and says he quit or.get fired befor he fights glover, but jumps.at.vera saying he so much tougher! Ducking fights doesnt derserve respect, this is not boxing where ppl pick they own matches. Boxing is going down because of ppl ducking ppl fighting who they want too, dana should be careful not.to.let mma start that stuff too. If i was boss and i told him i want u to fight this fight and he told me he rather retire or quit before he agrees, then id fire him on the spot and say theres the door! Rua wouldntve of quit lol theres nowhere else to go, bluffed and dana fell for it.

  • obuchons

    Long and short is Rua chickened out because he new Texeria would wreck him! And anyone of these four guys fighting this weekend getting a title shot is a joke! We all want Jones vs. Silva! The best 2 fighters in the world in their prime! NOW not in 2 years but NOW!

  • Spartacus

    Most douchers on this site are ignorant when it comes to mma. Shogun is one of the best all time and will wreck most everyone in the LHW division. Bones Jones (although a fake doucher) is a freak of nature with his physique and his natural ablility. Glover until he “wrecks lol” some top 10 peeps is just Fukn hype….just like Hector Lombard. So you idiots who don’t respect the best fighters in the world can shut your cake holes.

  • mma fanatic1982

    Lol ooh sorry killa! My point is rua did chicken out of glover fight! Im not buying the excuse that oh glover isnt good enough to fight me (shogun), but oh vera is so good this is a fight im looking for against top comp! Get out of here with that crap, rua is a great fighter but that dont mean he didnt duck out. He just lost two in a row and while he mightve beat glover he didnt want to take a chance with a tough opp. So he got the easy fight he really wanted to get back on the winning side. Cried and wined and took the easy road! Thats not respectable! If he a said no to the vera fight too and held out for a bader machida rashad heck even phil davis etc. I would believe he only wants top fighters not low ranked. But he jumped all over vera from day one! So hes a coward!

    • bjjjay

      Dude what are you talking about, this fight was originally thiago silva and shogun, and thiago is bad bad dude. The ufc called vera, not shogun.

    • bigwurm

      Thats all true, AND he said he would rather leave the UFC then fight Glover.. that is F’N coward then he says Vera deserves more respect.. I have more respect for Vera then for Shogun.. I have never heard a fighter go to the extreme before.. I bet he was pissing in his pants at the thought of fighting Glover.. what a bitch Rua is. I hope Vera KO’S his yella ass .. there now everyone rip me. haha its true, he he went to the extreme to duck Glover would rather get cut. Rua’s a bitch!!!

  • mma fanatic1982

    Sorry i forgot he beat griffen inbetween his losses. Still dont change anything lol still coming off a loss.

  • ryanstewart

    How about this: Shogun Beats Vera, Hendo beats Jones,Then the Hendo Rua Rematch.. That folks was simply one of the best fights I’ve ever had the privlage of seeing.And I’d love to see it again.

    • worldchamp

      Vera will lose. Too bad Hendo won’t win.

  • kjs84

    Thank you spartacus for having some brains.. I can’t believe the bs I’m reading. Shogun has nothing to prove… He has fought the best and has never turned down a fight. All you ppl reading into that false bs about him quiting if he had to fight glover. There s an interview where he clears that up and gives respect to glover and says he didn’t say he’d quit. If he beat a no one like glover he would not get anywhere… Vera at least has some experience and was once a big name… Glover has nothing but hype.

  • omcclave

    Can anyone explain why this fight isn’t shogun vs Phil Davis and why Vera is not on the undercard.

    • worldchamp

      Agreed!!!!!

  • Spartacus

    Davis isn’t ready for a shogun type fight yet.

  • mma fanatic1982

    Niethee is.vera! Vera does not have a big name! He.isnt relivent and hasnt been in a long time. Vera got cut and just came back with.a lackluster dec win! There is actually more hype behind glover than vera, and rather its legit or not beating someone with hype is better than beating spmeone with no hype and who ppl think isnt good. Like i said if he wouldve said no to the vera fight too like he did the glover, then i would believe him. Theres a reason dana wanted rua.to fight.glover, its cuz glover is a big name up in comer who can fight.and has alot of hype n momentum behind him. If dana truley thought vera was the best opt for rua and for the card then he wouldve offeres vera firtst! I like rua, but that dont make me close minded and gullable to things. Just cuz i like a fighter doesnt mean i wont call b.c when they try to lie or do something wrong! Be a fan not a nutthugger!

  • Spartacus

    I am not a big fan of Shogun. I have respect for him. I am a fan I just don’t waste all day trying to convince people that I have the inside track on why who fights who or doesn’t. Tell Dana I said hi next time you guys are having beers.

  • Spartacus

    Did you train in the CAGE with Dana….ooooh aaaahhhhhhh oooooooh aaahhhhh. Really we are all super impressed! Man it must be awesome being you having all of that insight and knowing that Shogun is a coward! Man you should start your own mma website. You could call it “The No BS source for all things MMA World Wide Where We Seperate the Cowards From the Keyboard Warriors Hosted By Captain Awesome”

  • mma fanatic1982

    Lol i just might try and do that, sounds fun. I had an oppinion that u felt the need to comment back on, so its u causing this whole back forth thing lol which healthy debates r good aslong as no one gets hella out of line. We will not all agree thats y its caleed debating, and i dont think i onow the inside.track lol im.just using common sense. I just THINK lol dana wouldve thru vera’s name at rua first if thats who he truley wanta him to fight and thinks is better for a good match. But who knows maybe im wrong lol maybe dana said glover first just to joke with rua and see if he accept the fight, then say “ha got u rua” lol “not him really i want u to fight vera”.

  • Spartacus

    you are right about expressing our opinions. Glad you could take my idea of your show as humorous as no Ill will is intended. The amount of keyboard warriors on this site is quite high. So often people are calling out some of the worlds best fighters with their “opinions” and I doubt anyone on here is at all qualified to declare these fighters cowards etc. People are certainly entitled to like or dislike fighters but lots of the comments are unbased slags against these fighters. Maybe your right about Glover…but he has a long way to go before any such claims can be made. I wasn’t just aiming at you with my comments but at the majority of people who have no respect for the fighters who deserve lots of respect just for stepping into the octagon and give all of themselves for the sport. most fans just want to see knockouts and don’t appreciate or understand the technical aspect of the sport.

  • mma fanatic1982

    I respect all fighters for what they do. But i do think there r fighters who r losing that want to get back on winnig track and look for the easiest fight to do it. And i understand that too, that u want a win to get that confidence back up and gain momentum. Maybe i am wrong im not god to have the answers, just imo i think he saw glover as a high risk fight. Veras name just really holds no weight or signifagance, i respect him lol he can kick my butt forsure but hes not a big name either no more than glovers name. And i think vera is an easier fight and i think rua thinks so too. If he was going to say he only wants big fights with big names then i think he shouldve said no to rua easily, and held out and tried to get bader, machida triolgy, rashad, even rampage. Heck even phil davis, while i agree with u that rua would n should beat davis thats not the point. Rua wants big names and big fights, davis only has one defeat against a former world champ rashad. Davis name holds more hype and weight than veras these days n times. While we or atleast i do respect vera nobody wants too see him fight anymore let alone for a poss num 1 contender spot. Id rather see him fight the ppl i named already or even glover n gust, they r the up in comers making a splash.