‘Shogun’ bonus: Wand-Franklin, Silva-Leites, Chute Boxe

By Marcelo Alonso Apr 15, 2009
Marcelo Alonso and Eduardo Ferreira featured Mauricio “Shogun” Rua on Wednesday on the front page of Sherdog.com. Here’s some bonus material that didn’t make the story:

Sherdog.com: What do you miss most about the time you spent at Chute Boxe?
Rua: Chute Boxe was a great team. It’s still one of the biggest in the world, but I don’t think the team evolved the way MMA did. I miss the guys we had there, the sparring; there were only tough guys.

Sherdog.com Why do you think Chute Boxe has not evolved?
Rua: I don’t think they evolved in everything: technique, good coaches in every area. In the muay Thai and vale tudo part, they’re great, but I don’t think they have a wrestling and jiu-jitsu part. Nobody’s perfect. I spoke with master Rafael Cordeiro about that when I was leaving. Everybody knows what’s best for them. I appreciate what they did for me.

Sherdog.com: Alexandre “Cacareco” Ferreira, a guy who came from Brazilian Top Team, trains at Chute Boxe now. How do you view that?
Rua: Chute Boxe is a school based on muay Thai, and he’s from jiu-jitsu; one will complete the other. I think Chute Boxe misses the jiu-jitsu part a little. With [Fabricio] Werdum [in the United States] and [Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach] Cristiano Marcello leaving the team, they need a guy like “Cacareco.” He’s good at wrestling and jiu-jitsu. Learning muay Thai there will be great for him, too.

Sherdog.com: Did you expect Cristiano Marcello to leave Chute Boxe and start his own team?
Rua: I wasn’t expecting it because we were always good friends in there. He said some things when me and Wanderlei [Silva] left Chute Boxe. He said we were wrong for leaving, but if it’s the best way, I think everyone should go their own way. I don’t condemn him. If he thinks it’s best for him, that’s the way he should go.

Sherdog.com: Chute Boxe was the big rival of BTT, and Ricardo Arona and Paulo Filho were your biggest rivals. When asked last week if he could someday invite Arona and Filho to his school, Rudimar Fedrigo said they were wasting time by not going to Chute Boxe. What do you think about that?
Rua: Really? I think it’s the modernization of MMA. You have to bring the strongest powers to your side. If it works for them there, they should go. I’m doing the same, bringing in the best coaches in each area for my performance. That’s the difference from the American fighters; they don’t care about rivalry. We have to be together to beat them.

Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Rua picks Silva against Franklin.
Sherdog.com: Doesn’t the feeling of rivalry still exist deep inside you?
Rua: For sure, but you have to look for what’s best for you. When I left Chute Boxe, nobody was happy, and neither was I. But I had to look after what was best for me. I went after the best professionals. Rudimar wants the best professionals fighting for him.

Sherdog.com: Who do you see as the best light heavyweight in the world today?
Rua: I think that Lyoto Machida is coming on more and more in his latest fights and deserves the title shot. It’ll be a tough fight [against Rashad Evans]. Both are top guys, and I can’t predict anything.

Sherdog.com: Two guys who have trained with you -- Machida and Thiago Silva -- are in your division. Would you accept a fight against one of them?
Rua: I don’t like to fight any Brazilians. I think we’ve gone backwards in recent years in comparison to the Americans. I’m a professional. The UFC pays me for that, and I’ll fight whoever they want, but I prefer not to fight Brazilians.

Sherdog.com: How do you think the Wanderlei Silva-Rich Franklin fight at UFC 99 will play out?
Rua: Wanderlei is making a good move going to middleweight. He won’t lose much power, but Rich Franklin deserves respect, and I think it’ll be a great striking battle. Nobody will want to put this fight on the ground, and I think Wanderlei wins it.

Sherdog.com: Do you think that one more loss would affect Wanderlei’s career in the UFC?
Rua: A loss would affect him, but Wanderlei is a fighter that every promoter would like to have in their event. Even when he loses, the fans love him.

Sherdog.com: How do you see the fight between Anderson Silva and Thales Leites at UFC 97?
Rua: I know Anderson well. Everybody knows Anderson is on top of the world. Thales has grown a lot, but Anderson is more experienced, knows how to deal with that and wins, but it’ll be a tough fight. I think he’ll knock Thales out, but you can’t underestimate anybody.

Eduardo Ferreira contributed to this interview.
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