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'Shogun' Rua: Jon Jones is the toughest fighter I have ever faced

Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

File this one under "shocker."

Mauricio Rua has been all around the world in his mixed martial arts career, from Brazil to Japan to Las Vegas and even Canada, eh.

Throughout that time, he's tussled with some of the best fighters in the game, legendary former champions like Forrest Griffin, Lyoto Machida, Chuck Liddell and Alistair Overeem.

And they all pale in comparison to one man.

When recently caught up with "Shogun" to ask who is the toughest fighter he has ever faced, it's probably no surprise that it's the same man that made him tap to strikes for the first time in his career.

"Yes, I think (Jon Jones is the toughest fighter I've ever faced). After the Jon Jones fight I gave it a lot of thought, I reflected a lot, I thought about my training... everything. I came to some conclusions, but I don't want to take anything away from Jones, he's a good fighter. I have given it a lot of thought though because I hope to fight him again one day."

"Shogun" fans were disappointed at the Brazilian's listless performance against "Bones," which hearkened back to his stinker against Mark Coleman at UFC 93 in 2009.

While many pundits cited his recent knee surgery as the possible culprit, the Rua camp believes it was his opponent's first round knee and head kick combination that robbed him of his stamina and marked the beginning of the end.

Will the former champ come back stronger? He'll get the chance when he takes on the man that spoiled his debut party with UFC back in 2007, Forrest Griffin, in his native land of Brazil. 

It's a daunting task to get back on the hog against a dog like Griffin. Can he do it? And if he does, will it earn him another shot at the light heavyweight crown and a potential rematch against Jones?

Sound off, Maniacs.

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