When Mauricio Rua first fought Forrest Griffin back in Sept. 2007, he was essentially operating at half capacity. That's because he suffered a knee injury and was dealing with enough ring rust for the both of them.
Despite that, he put up one hell of a fight before succumbing to a rear-naked choke with just seconds remaining in the contest.
Griffin would go on to win the light heavyweight title while Rua would struggle through his next training camp before turning in an uninspiring performance against a geriatric Mark Coleman.
Needless to say, UFC fans were tired of waiting to see what a healthy "Shogun" would look like, especially when he was billed as the number one 205-pound fighter in the world upon his Octagon arrival. Where was this killer from Pride, this destroyer of men that showed no mercy and left a trail of bodies in his wake?
The answer finally came at UFC 97 when a fully recovered Rua squared off against Chuck Liddell in Montreal. The Brazilian Muay Thai monster froze "The Iceman" up with a lunging left hook towards the end of the first round, earning himself "Knockout of the Night" in the process.
And finally showing the UFC audience just exactly what he's capable of.
Is that the "Shogun" that will show up tonight (Aug. 27, 2011) at UFC 134 in his long-awaited rematch against Griffin? Stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy Rua knocking out Liddell after the jump.