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Mauricio Rua working with Freddie Roach to prepare for UFC 161 scrap

Mauricio Rua working with Freddie Roach to prepare for UFC 161 scrap

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:

  • AlphaOmega says:

    If Rua uses speed and kicks, he takes this one, lil nog seems to be wishy washy kinda, plus he’s a nogueria and doesn’t use his Jits.

    On Lil Nog’s side though, he trains with Machida who fought Rua twice, so I’m sure he has plenty of suggestions and tips to give on how he fights.

  • Niv says:

    Looking forward to seeing Shogun fight again. Too bad he hasn’t been the same fighter for years now.

    The 1st Rua vs Little Nog fight was one of the best mma fights I’ve ever seen, hopefully both fighters find a way to rekindle some of that magic.


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