Less than two weeks after being submitted by Chael Sonnen with a guillotine choke, Maurcio ‘Shogun’ Rua is still under fire from critics and fans who can’t forgive him the ups and downs of his UFC career.
Used to shockingly violent wins in Pride FC, Shogun’s fanbase are impatient and press the fighter for good results inside the Octagon. This pressure affects the former Pride and UFC champion, reveals his manager Leonardo Salomao, who is now considerig the idea of bringing in psychological support for the team.
“He returns to the maintenance training on Monday, since he has no fight scheduled. People without experience don’t know how much he dedicates himself to this. They think he doesn’t train properly. He is under all this pressure and we have to work on the psychological part because he pressureshimself a lot,” he tells R7.
Leonardo holds black belts in Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu and has been Shogun’s friend for twenty years. He trained with Mauricio in the past, but today, as his manager, he emphasizes how the long-time proximity makes him see the tiny details in the athlete.
Because of that, he feels able to speak openly about what Rua is currently experiencing. It is the first time in his career that he has been beaten twice in a row.
“In the entrance to the fight, in my opinion, I felt him very tense, pressured. After the bout he was so down, he could not stand the pressure and said he couldn’t face losing and that he was afraid of losing. But he lost to somebody who dedicated a lot to their own training, it happens,” he says.
“He felt repressed and whoever feels who feels afraid of losing can’t attack.”
With the loss Shogun, who is only 31 years old despite a long history in the sport, fell to ninth position in the UFC official light heavyweight ranking. It’s unimpressive for someone won Pride and UFC championships.
“Formerly he would not have commitments, he would go there and fight straightforward and beat everyone from all over the world. Today he does not have the right to put on a bad fight, he can’t make a mistake or get tired.
“When he loses, suddenly he is ‘bad’, nobody recognizes the talent of the opponent. It was like that with the loss to Jon Jones, who is the champion today. And now the same with Sonnen.”