Mauricio Rua's long time friend and former head trainer, Rafael Cordiero, has been speaking about his former students performance this past weekend (Nov. 19) at the UFC 139: "Shogun vs. Henderson" event in San Jose, California.
Fans were treated to what many are calling the best fight in UFC history, as Rua and Dan Henderson put on a show for the ages in a back and forth brawl that left both men battered and bruised. "Hendo" and "Shogun" traded punches and knockdowns for 25 minutes, which eventually resulted in the American walking away with a somewhat controversial unanimous decision victory.
Everyone from fans, media and even UFC President Dana White were left in awe of the efforts that both combatants put forth in their epic battle.
Apparently, Cordiero was not as impressed as the rest of us.
Though he admits he has not seen the fight, he tells MMAWeekly.com he feels that from what he has heard, "Shogun" needs to start taking training a bit more seriously.
"I didn't see the fight because I was with Wanderlei at the moment of the fight. But what everybody say, "Shogun" needs to work a little bit more on his cardio. I don't know about this fight because he didn't train with us for this fight. What I can say, is that if he wants back to the top he needs to start training. When you have guys inside your gym with responsibility, professional guys in all styles, it's easy to do the work. So sometimes, if you don't have this, it's hard because you are fighter, you are manager, you are coach you are everything. In Shogun's case, he is the boss there. So when he wants to stop the training, he stops and nobody is going to say no to Shogun and say "No Shogun, you need to work a little bit more." In my gym, I don't have fighters, I have students there. My students work and my students learn martial arts, respect and discipline and it makes a difference. Wanderlei, we are old friends, we work 20 years together but he is still my student."
Cordiero also has some words of advice for his former pupil:
"He needs to start training as much as he can. He needs to work hard it's no joke; this sport is a hard sport. He represents not just him, but he represents a great show. UFC is a great show and or you to fight here you need to work hard and you need to work on your techniques and your cardio. He needs to put that in his head if he wants back to the top."
"Shogun" and Cordiero have a friendship dating back all the way to the PRIDE FC days when Cordiero served as Rua's head trainer at the famed Chute Boxe Academy.
The gym, which housed fighters such as Wanderlei Silva, Anderson Silva, Fabricio Werdum, Murilo Rua, was known for their brutal all out training sessions in which sparring sessions mirrored that of a real fight.
After departing Chute Boxe in 2009, Cordiero headed stateside to Huntington Beach, California, to open up Kings MMA. His new gym houses familiar faces such as Wanderlei Silva and Fabricio Werdum along with top talents Jason Miller, Mark Munoz and Jake Ellenberger.
Shogun and Cordiero had recently reunited for Rua's last previous fight against Forrest Griffin at UFC 134 this past Aug. 27. The reunion proved a success as "Shogun" avenged his loss to Griffin, knocking him out in the very first round.
So it came as a surprise when it was reported that Rua and Cordiero would not train together ahead of his much anticipated bout with fellow PRIDE legend Dan Henderson.
Perhaps a return to Cordiero and Kings MMA would be wise move for Mauricio Rua for his next bout.
Do you agree with Master Rafael Cordiero's analysis of Shogun's performance? Or would have it mattered how good Rua's cardio and technique was after absorbing countless right hands from "Hendo," which would have had most opponents out for the count?