Longtime light heavyweight icon Mauricio “Shogun” Rua has been known for mixing up his training camps in the past depending on his opponent, bouncing back and forth between gyms in the United States and Brazil. For his headlining tilt against fellow former champion Dan Henderson, set to take place this weekend at UFC 139, Rua opted to keep things close to home though not based on convenience.

“I chose Sao Paolo for this camp because it is known for its great boxing,” Rua explained in a recent interview with the UFC promoting Saturday night’s show. “It’s important to have good boxing skills going into a fight with Dan Henderson. It’s a big part of his game. I can train more strategically in a more private manner which is very important.”

Rua also revealed he had expected to fight Henderson years ago and is glad they will finally have a chance to test each other inside the ring.

“I really respect Dan as a fighter…he’s someone I admire very much,” said Rua. “He’s been at the top of his game for a long time and I enjoy watching him fight. This fight was supposed to happen a long time ago. Back in the PRIDE days. We always thought we would end up fighting each other and it never happened. I think this is the right time now for this to happen. I am very honored and happy to fight Dan.”

Fans can catch the legends locking horns when the UFC 139 PPV starts at 9:00 PM EST.

Check out the full interview with Rua below:


MMATraining Take: I have a hard time believing boxing and privacy were Rua’s main concerns, especially since Henderson has always been more a power-puncher than pure boxer, but he certainly has the freedom to train where he wants. As far as how I see this fight unfolding, I’ll tell you once I see “Shogun” weigh-in. If he’s in shape he’s got a great chance of coming away with the win; if he’s flabby he’ll be going to sleep early in the bout.