Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (file photo) is training at Kings MMA with Rafael Cordeiro. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Few men know Mauricio “Shogun” Rua as well as Rafael Cordeiro. Now that he has his star pupil back in the fold at Kings MMA in California, Cordeiro has set out to shore up the holes that were present in Rua’s one-sided defeat to Jon Jones at UFC 128 in March.
“He entered the academy with his head held high, as a champion who was looking for the path to regaining his title,” Cordeiro told Sherdog.com. “The training here will make him stronger, but we’re not a miracle house. We don’t do miracles. This is a place where he’ll work hard, a place where he’ll make sure he’ll never again fight like he did against Jones. That’s the only guarantee we gave him.”
After 10 days of hard work, Shogun plans to head home to organize matters before returning to the United States in the middle of the month. Cordeiro vowed to help Rua evolve for his rematch against Forrest Griffin at UFC 134 on Aug. 27 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Conversations to bring Rua to Kings MMA, according to Cordeiro, began long ago and picked up steam before he surrendered the light heavyweight title to Jones at UFC 128.
“We’ve been talking a long time about him joining Kings MMA. We talked before the Jon Jones fight, but some family issues prevented him from coming to the U.S.,” Cordeiro said. “Right after UFC 128, Shogun decided to join us, and he has already looked for places to live with his family, car, stuff like that to spend the two and a half months of the camp.
“It was easy to convince him because of our friendship and affection,” he added.
“I was his coach from the time he was a white belt until he was a black belt. No one knows him as I do, and I can say there is a lot we can add here to improve on his game.”
Colin Foster contributed to this report.