There’s no question some bias is likely to be involved when it comes to a fighter picking the outcome of a bout involving a family member. However, in the case of Murilo Rua, the Brazilian actually possesses genuine insight into the very man his sibling will face, a fact giving his statements a bit more weight.
“Ninja” recently opened up about Mauricio Rua’s match-up with Dan Henderson at UFC 139 where he revealed his younger brother will stay in Brazil to prepare for the November 19 affair and made a bold prediction regarding how things will unfold inside the Octagon.
“My brother is training in Sao Paulo along with great professionals and I’ll be going there soon to help him out on his preparation,” said the 31- year old in an interview with Tatame. “It’s like I always say: ‘Shogun’, when well trained, is unstoppable, and he’s making much effort to get there.”
As far as the actual bout, Rua continued by saying he understands the task at hand but sees things going favorably for former UFC light heavyweight champ.
“It’ll be a tough fight, I don’t doubt it, but my brother will be cool and focused. There won’t be any mystery,” Rua said before adding his belief that “Shogun” will be the first fighter to ever stop Henderson with strikes in a career spanning more than a decade and surpassing 35 fights.
“Henderson is (very) talented, has pretty heavy hands and knows (a lot of) wrestling, knows how to take you down, but my brother is well trained and I’m sure he’ll win this one,” Rua began. “They’re two athletes who go for it so I’m guessing things will get busy, whether it’s on the stand-up or ground game. Henderson is (very) aggressive, despite not using much (of) his Jiu-Jitsu skills. I believe my brother will knock him out, because I don’t see it going to the judges’ score card for decision.”
Though this will be the first time “Hendo” and the younger Rua will meet in the ring, “Ninja” and Henderson locked horns in 2001 at a PRIDE event the iconic Californian ultimately won via Split Decision.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: I appreciate what “Ninja” has to say, and though I’m not as confident in Rua’s ability to knock Henderson out, I will say that such an outcome is at least possible. As invincible as his chin may appear to be keep in mind has hasn’t exactly been fighting knockout artists like “Shogun” and UFC 139 could be the first time his jaw truly gets tested in some time.