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Posted on August 27, 2011 by John Petit

Breaking Down UFC 134: Mauricio Shogun Rua Vs Forrest Griffin

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Light Heavyweight bout
Mauricio Rua Vs Forrest Griffin  

Mauricio Rua
79% Fights Won
51% Striking Accuracy
48% Takedown Accuracy

Odds: -240
Reach: 76 in
Record: 19-5
UFC Record: 3-3
Last 5: 3-2
Streak: -1

Forrest Griffin
69% Fights Won
37% Striking Accuracy
48% Takedown Accuracy

Odds: +201
Reach: 77 in
Record: 18-6
UFC Record: 9-4
Last 5: 3-2

Griffin won the fight the last time these two fought, but Rua was coming off some serious knee issues that would require a few surgeries to fix. When you remember the injuries, Shogun didn’t do that terribly in the fight, and some argue he won the first round. However, his conditioning became the issue in that fight, and Griffin was able to overwhelm him with punches and take his back for the choke.

After winning the fight, Griffin would go on to beat Quinton Rampage Jackson in a 5 round fight, and he took the belt from the defending champ in a close decision win. Unfortunately for Griffin, after controlling much of the first two rounds in a fight against Rashad Evans, Evans took him down and pounded him out taking the belt. He was then scheduled to fight Anderson Silva, in a fight that would really test how legitimate Silva was in the light heavyweight division. Silva destroyed Griffin and made him look slow and confused in a one sided 2 minute beat down. He has since compiled two straight wins as he has put together decision wins over Tito Ortiz and Rich Franklin who stepped up last minute to fill in for Antonio Rogerio Noguiera.

Since losing to Griffin, Shogun defeated two at the end of their career fighters in UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell and Mark Coleman, and he finished both of them. There was a shake up with injuries, and contenders, and Shogun was given a shot at the title against Lyoto Machida. In a close fight, Machida won by decision and shocked many fans and analysts who thought Rua had won. A rematch would be granted, and Shogun finished Machida in the first round taking the title back to Brazil. In Rua’s last fight, he was finished by current champion Jon Bones Jones in the third round.

When I listen to the reporters who cover MMA in Brazil they all say Shogun is on point, and is ready to go. Conversely, many are saying Forrest’s head just isn’t the game, and it could be because he is days away from having his first child or that he isn’t interested in fighting anymore. The reality is that Rua is healthy, and there is no Octagon jitters excuse anymore. Griffin hasn’t evolved much as a fighter. I don’t mean to say hasn’t made improvements to his game, but to say he is still the type of gritty fighter that seems to stay in fight. Shogun is going to look to swarm Griffin early in the fight, and try to catch him walking backwards after getting hit. If Rua doesn’t finish this fight in the third round he will win a close but clear decision.

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