By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
“My biggest motivation is that I’ll fight Forrest Griffin, who’s a top athlete, one of the [best]. Of course I’ll be another fighter for this bout, I’ll do it all over again, that’s my dream. Now we talk to each other, we are [colleagues]… But he’s a good fighter, he’s a big name [in] the division, a strong guy, so he’s a guy that, in case I win, it’ll bring me closer to the belt. So that motivates me. Of course I want revenge [for my loss to him in 2007], so that’s my chance to revenge that loss, and that’s an extra motivational factor. But I’ll be focused because I need a win, not only because of the revenge I want. I want the win. I’m happy [to fight in Brazil]. It’s a thing that, when I [lost], I was pretty upset, sad, but it’s been a while and now I’m motivated, knowing I’ll fight again. They’ve offered me that bout and that’s a fight I’d [asked] them [for], so it was perfect. For me it’s great: fighting in my country, close to my family. That [is] a dream coming true, especially being in UFC, which is a mark for MMA history in Brazil.”
-Mauricio “Shogun” Rua talks to Tatame.com about getting a rematch with Forrest Griffin and fighting in his home country of Brazil in August.
Penick’s Analysis: Pretty much every Brazilian fighter on the UFC’s roster has wanted to get themselves on this UFC Rio card in August, and “Shogun” is no different. This fight with Forrest Griffin is really the perfect fight for both with the events that went down in the first quarter of the year, and with that fight having been nearly four years ago it’s still a fresh matchup in the division, with both fighters in very different spots in their careers than they were in 2007. Rua, along with the rest of his countrymen, will have the full backing of a raucous and excited home crowd, and it should make for a great atmosphere for the UFC when the event comes in August. This likely co-main event, or third fight from the top, will be a fantastic part of that as well.