To say I'm a pretty bright guy is probably an understatement, and to publicly say that is probably a good way to make people either roll their eyes or continue an onslaught of e*attacks against my person, yet here I am, writing exactly that. I think having some confidence in a world of uncertainty is a great feature to possess. Like a good portion of hardcore fans on the internet, I've been watching MMA for a very long time, and like an even smaller portion, I watched PRIDE during its heyday.
I don't make a lot of PRIDE NEVER DIE posts, but yes, the bushido spirit flows through my veins at times and I remember that really awesome Japanese promotion that was home to a lot of the world's top talent as well as a lot of the world's most charismatic cans and both sometimes converged to create incredible squashes like only PRIDE could do. That is to keep the haters happy, as there were also a lot of really, really incredible fights between the best in the world.
So I have to be honest, I'm scratching my head over here; how is Mauricio "Shogun" Rua an underdog against Jon "Bones" Jones at this weekend's UFC 128 event? I pose a very, very serious question to those that feel like Jones is unstoppable; who has he beaten compared to Shogun? Shogun was the PRIDE 2005 Middleweight Champion, quite possibly having the most incredible tournament run imaginable for that year. Shogun defeated, in the opening round, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, then Antonio Rogerio "Little Nog" Nogueira, Alistair Overeem and then Ricardo Arona.
To me, this fight is a no-brainer. An absolute no-brainer, to the extent that I've been given $1,000 by BetDSI to bet on this fight, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I'm all in for Mauricio Shogun Rua. The odds on BetDSI right now? Ridiculous. Shogun is +155 and I'm betting that I'll be laughing all the way to the bank on this one. So that is, risking $1,000 to win $1,550. Want to know why? Read more.
I'm going to toss this out here, and say that a lot of newer fans rely on Wikipedia for information, and while it is a fine source of information, there are some things you cannot gleam from looking at fighter records on Wikipedia. Shogun's next fight was a loss to an over-the-hill Mark Coleman, which to the casual onlooker, does not look anything but condemning, but, the truth is, it was a freak occurrence. Shogun's arm got stuck in Coleman's, they hit the ground and Shogun's arm snapped. The ref immediately called the fight and there was a giant Chute Boxe/Hammer House pull-apart brawl in the ring. I don't even think that Mark Coleman considers it a win at this point.
The Forrest Griffin loss was after an extensive knee surgery, where by all means he was not ready to come back. Then, the Lyoto Machida loss was the blueprint for modern, awful MMA judging (I scored the fight a draw, for what it is worth, with Shogun up if you must pick a winner). Jon Jones has been impressive in his career, there is a swell of support for him that I don't seem to understand. Jones is uniquely creative, but using Street Fighter moves against Stephan Bonnar and Jake O'Brien is different than against a refined stand up fighter like Shogun.
Bonnar is actually the best stand up fighter Jones has faced outside of Brandon Vera, and that is not saying a lot when coming up against Shogun. Jones outworked Vera on the ground using elbows to take him out. Shogun provides a very new, elite challenge that he has not faced before. The last fight against Ryan Bader proved that Jones has power but has absolutely no combinations at his disposal.
Do you understand now why I'm all in for Shogun on BetDSI?
Dave Walsh has been covering MMA and Kickboxing since 2007 before changing his focus solely to Kickboxing in 2009, launching what was the only English-language site dedicated to giving Kickboxing similar coverage to what MMA receives. He was the co-founder of HeadKickLegend and now LiverKick. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he works as a writer of all trades.
His second novel, Terminus Cycle, is available now via Kindle and Paperback.
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