Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua was just going through the motions.
I'm sure it sounds crazy to guys with a desk job when star athletes like "Shogun" get bored, but the Brazilian was having trouble getting motivated in recent years, which may have been a contributing factor to his less-than-exceptional record inside the cage.
Then came a change in fight camps.
Now, Rua is finding himself all over again, thanks to his ability to train with fellow mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters like Demian Maia and Daniel Sarafian. But will that translate into success when he squares off against Dan Henderson this weekend in front of his hometown crowd?
"I have always been with great coaches, but I lacked motivation. With the training here in São Paulo my motivation raised again because I'm just another fighter. In Curitiba, the coaches were hired by me and they were focusing only on me. Now, here in São Paulo, I have good athletes that help me like Demian Maia and Daniel Sarafian. I'm feeling better this time because I know very well his style of fighting. It's easier now to impose my rhythm of fight. I will always look for the KO whether I'm winning or not. If I have the opportunity, I will knock him out in the first round."
Considering what they went through the first time, it's not surprising to hear he's gunning for an early finish.
After their five-round death match at UFC 139, Rua returned to the win column with a technical knockout victory over Brandon Vera, only to drop consecutive bouts to Alexander Gustafsson and Chael Sonnen. With his future at 205 pounds in jeopardy, the 32-year-old Brazilian roared back to crush James Te Huna.
Can Shogun 2.0 make one last run at the division title?
For more on the upcoming UFC Fight Night 38 event on FOX Sports 1 and Fight Pass, which takes place inside the Nelio Dias Gymnasium in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, on March 23, 2014, click here.