Chances are that I’ll never love a fighter as much as Gary LaPlante loves Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. By the time that the 2005 PRIDE Middleweight GP rolled around I was in a place where I had cooled off on PRIDE a bit and while I acknowledged Shogun’s win as a great feat, I was still a Wanderlei Silva guy through-and-through and saw Shogun as a guy that was legit, sure, but he was no Wanderlei. Hell, I even refused to watch the fight against Dan Henderson because of that fear of seeing Wanderlei lose his championship, which actually ended up happening.
What I’m saying here is, man, it sucks when fighters we like get old, doesn’t it? There’s kind of no turning back. Sure, they can take some magic serums, get injections and everything else that is available, but sooner-or-later those things catch up with them and you end up like Wanderlei Silva trying to convince people that the UFC has you in a “slave contract” and whatever else.
Shogun Rua’s fight against OSP this weekend was one that going into it, I had a bad feeling about it. There was no way that I wanted to watch that fight because, well, I might not think of OSP as much of a prospect at this point, but there was still no way that he didn’t beat Shogun. I had envisioned Shogun getting laid upon for the duration of the fight, which I didn’t want to see. It turns out that it was even worse than that and I, like many, many others, would like to see Shogun stop right there.
The UFC isn’t in the business of lining up older fighters against guys that they could be competitive with, instead they tend to toss prospects and guys who need wins at them and fans get to watch their heroes descend into a deep, dark hole that they’ll never get out of. It’s not something that anyone likes to see. Shogun Rua is fully in that hole right now and the guy made a post on his Facebook claiming that he might look into dropping to Middleweight. My god, what is wrong with him?
I understand that it’s hard to let go, but yeah.