Freddie Roach: Shogun Rua doesn't 'punch like a girl' anymore

Esther Lin for MMA Fighting

Bad news for Chael Sonnen: Brazilian Muay Thai wrecking machine Mauricio "Shogun" Rua no longer punches like a girl. He can now cross Freddie Roach's Wild Card boxing gym off his Christmas card list.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez isn't the only mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter who "hits like a girl." From hitting like a female to punching like "Superman," Mauricio Rua has made some great strides since he started working with famed boxing coach Freddie Roach.

According to Roach -- who stopped by "The MMA Hour" today (Aug. 12, 2013) -- "Shogun" wasn't exactly the poster boy for technical striking before their initial session.

But, after a few weeks under his tutelage, the former UFC Light Heavyweight champion went from being a "good" to a "great" puncher and now has a rating of an "A" as opposed to a "C," according to Roach.

He explains:

"It's funny, when we first started working together [Rua] wasn't punching really hard because he didn't have his balance and his feet under him, and I told him he punched like a girl. The last day he said, ‘Freddie, can I ask you a question? Do I punch like a boy now?' I said, ‘Yes, you do.' He's really fun guy to be around and a really hard worker. We had a really good time."

While Rua holds impressive knockout victories over Quinton Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Chuck Liddell and Alistair Overeem, among others, his highlight reel wasn't enough to wow a man responsible for helping mold the careers of boxing superstars such as Oscar de La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao.

Fight fans will get to see if Rua's new punching techniques pay off when he takes on Chael Sonnen -- a world class wrestler -- in the main event of UFC Fight Night 26 this weekend (Aug. 17, 2013) from TD Bank Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

Anyone expect a more dangerous "Shogun" in "Beantown?" Or will the self-proclaimed "American Gangster" nullify his new-found striking and all of his improvement with his Olympic-level grappling?

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