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UFC 93 Preview: Rua vs Coleman

UFC 93 Revenge – Shogun Rua vs Mark Coleman

At the ripe old age of 44 and with his last fight taking place more than two years ago, it seems as if many of the experts aren’t giving Mark “The Hammer” Coleman any sort of chance against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 93 in Dublin, Ireland.

The former Ohio State wrestler and one of the pioneers of the wrestling-based “ground and pound” style enters the octagon against the 27-year old Rua as a decided underdog in the betus.com sports books. Rua is a +400 to -250 favorite over Coleman, who beat him by what some observers call a fluky arm break back in 2006.  

Coleman refuses to call the win “lucky” as Shogun seems to believe it was, and he will try to prove that the better man won in their UFC 93 fight on January 17th. Coleman has been quoted as saying he wants to stand up and trade punches with Rua, and if that does happen, many feel that it will decrease his chances of winning even further.

Perhaps it is part of a psychological ploy on the part of Coleman to get Rua to think that he is coming into the fight to prove some sort of point and Coleman’s real plan is to set Rua up with safe strikes before shooting in for the takedown. It would seem as if using his strength advantage and maybe even stalling a little bit would be Coleman’s best chance for a win in his fight with Rua.

promo/ufc

Rua has a lot riding on this fight, that’s for sure, and he also has revenge on his mind after his last bout with Coleman. Rua is a world-class striker who loves both knees and elbows; a more technical version of fellow Brazilian and Chute Boxe comrade Wanderlei Silva who can be just as mean and opportunistic at times in the ring or octagon.

Rua hasn’t fought in a while either, with his last bout against Forrest Griffin in late 2007. He had been battling injuries at that time and didn’t look like the same Shogun Rua who became an elite fighter at the light heavyweight division in PRIDE. The only questions surrounding Rua coming into this fight are his health and potential confidence problems stemming from it.

If Rua comes out looking like the old Shogun PRIDE fans knew and loved from his days in Japan, he should easily win this fight. It is a somewhat difficult match stylistically for Rua considering Coleman’s strength and experience, but Rua has too much motivation going into this fight to lose it as long as he is healthy.

Coleman may have been worth throwing a little bit of cash on as a possible upset pick over Rua if he were a little younger, but at the age of 44 against a young, hungry, talented, motivated fighter like Rua. Its going to be Rua’s revenge in this fight.

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