Shogun Rua is gonna have to live with the ignominious distinction of being the first Brazilian to lose to Chael Sonnen. Don’t worry Chael, there’ll be others soon too, but for now that is a heavy cross to bear. Here’s Shogun’s brother Ninja (aka Murilo) talking about the loss:
“My brother needs someone, he needs a head coach who can listen to,” he said. “I always told him the truth no matter what, but I had issues with trainers from his camp. Maybe in the future I’ll work with him again, who knows. I’ll talk to him when he returns to Curitiba.”
“He has a lot of shady persons around him, people trying to take advantage of him,” he said. “People from his camp said I wasn’t good for Mauricio because I made him nervous when I was on his corner, and he listened to that, so I decided to leave. If something is wrong I would point it out, I wouldn’t just lie to please him.”
“My brother never went on a diet,” he said. “But I believe it’s hard for him to (fight at middleweight), he weighs around 230 pounds. I don’t know what he’s thinking for his future, I’ll talk to him when he gets back home.”
My take is that Shogun be Shogun, and sometimes that means you get the awesome focused warrior who will never stop coming forward and sometimes you get the listless sleepwalker who stumbles into a guillotine choke. It’s hard to keep that laser like dedication and determination for over a decade straight. Who knows if his brother in his corner would help or hinder. Maybe we just need to accept that Shogun isn’t the unstoppable force he was six years and a few surgeries ago. Depending on what night you run into him, that is.