With 18 knockouts in 21 total wins, one would assume UFC light heavyweight Mauricio Rua’s stand-up skills don’t need much polishing. However, as sharp as Rua’s striking may be, he’s not nearly the boxer UFC 161 opponent Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is, and, as a result, “Shogun” decided to seek out some help with the sweet science leading up to their June 15 fight.
In a recent feature from the UFC, Rua was shown spending time with renowned boxing trainer Freddie Roach. Roach has worked with numerous boxing champions, including Manny Pacquiao, and has also spent time helping Mixed Martial Artists like Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre.
“I was always confident in my boxing. In my camp I always train a lot of boxing, but Freddie showed me specific details that will help me improve my game,” said Rua of his decision to call Roach.
In addition to adding a few new punches into his arsenal, Roach also provided some input on how to approach Nogueira.
“He is a southpaw and that already makes him harder to deal with,” offered Rua when asked about what he’d learned. “Nogueira is a guy who likes to set up his jab to throw his left hand. I know this and I am going to be prepared when we step inside the Octagon.”
Rua-Nogueira is set as the event’s co-headliner. The former is 21-7 with past wins over Forrest Griffin, Quinton Jackson, and Lyoto Machida, while the latter holds a career mark of 21-5 including an upset over Rashad Evans the last time he was seen in the ring.
The full interview with Rua can be found below: