MMA  > General MMA  > Shogun gets unpleasant surprise from Machida
September 2, 2009, 02:35 PM
www.fightersonlymagazine.co.uk/news/viewarticle.php?id=3017 &offset=0

Mauricio ???Shogun??? Rua got an unexpected surprise when he boarded the plane for a flight to today???s UFC 104 press conference in Los Angeles. - his opponent Lyoto Machida was sitting right next to him.

???Well to tell you the truth Lyoto is a nice guy and we have been kind of friends for a while. But even though we are friends I got very surprised to see him on the plane - and actually sitting next to me like side by side on the whole flight from Brazil to here!??? Rua told the packed press conference.

???It was a funny situation but it will not affect the fight, we are professionals.???

Aside from professional rivalry, the fight also has an added dimension for Rua. In the midst of the current hype around Machida Karate, he wants to prove his beloved Muay Thai is just as efficient a fighting style.

???Actually this is a good point. Lyoto is a stand-up fighter and I am a stand-up fighter myself. But he comes from karate, he is a very good counter-striker and has a very efficient style, whereas I am a Muay Thai fighter and I fight much more pressing the action, being aggressive.

???This is a big motivation for me, to prove and show that Muay Thai can be efficient against his style and to defend Muay Thai, this is a motivation for me for this fight.???

Rua is coming off a stoppage win over former light-heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell. For that fight, he moved to Sao Paolo for his training camp, but for this fight against the current light-heavyweight champion he is staying in his native Curitiba.

???I think each fight is a different story, a different fight. To fight Chuck Liddell I thought I needed to emphasise my boxing so I went to Sao Paulo as they have the best boxing in Brazil,??? he explained.

???For this fight against Lyoto I think I need different things, different aspects of training, so me and my team talked about and we decided to stay in Curitiba. I will go wherever is best for my strategy and bring my team with me.???

Rua also took the opportunity to reassure his English-speaking fans that he is studying the language and hopes to address them in his post-fight speech.

???Actually I am training English, I am studying English. But I have been fighting a lot this year and I would rather my emphasise my training on fighting because this is what the fans want to see. But after the fight I will keep training English so I can speak with the fans.???

In honour of its 104th PPV event, the UFC also gave away 104 pairs of tickets to the first 104 people to turn up to today???s press conference.

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