UFC on Fox 4: Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua Needs a Stellar Fight to Be Considered Elite

Bryan KalbroskyCorrespondent IAugust 4, 2012

MONTREAL- MAY 8: Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua (L) looks at Lyoto Machida in their light heavyweight bout at UFC 113 at Bell Centre on May 8, 2010 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

Brandon Vera and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua face off on Saturday night during UFC on Fox 4, but Shogun has a lot to prove in the match.

The more exciting fights in UFC have tended to feature heavyweights, while Shogun is a former light heavyweight champion. His career has already shown victories over impressive names such as Chuck Liddell and Quinton Jackson. Of course, there's still more to prove when it come to the remainder of his legacy.

The 30-year-old Brazilian will fight Brandon Vera in the spotlight on network television on Fox’s primetime Saturday broadcast.

Shogun comes into the match with a winning record (20-6) and a remarkable total knockout history (17-2). Against Vera, the fate and legacy of his career will be tested and put on the line as he looks for another title.

If Shogun wins this match, he will face the winner of Jon Jones and Dan Henderson for a chance at the title. Both Jones and Henderson have already demolished Rua in previous fights. If he is unable to reach a fight for redemption, there’s a legitimate chance that fans will begin to doubt the validity of his career.

Without a doubt in anyone’s mind, Rua will be remembered as great.

But it takes a special kind of fighter to go down as elite, especially considering that his matches with Jones and Henderson left fans wondering if he’d ever be the same fighter after the brutal losses.

While he suffered no broken bones or severe injuries, his weaknesses were exposed and the chance of him coming back in the next fight is a serious concern.

Vera is much lower in ranking then Rua is, and he needs to come out strong and quick to take an early advantage.

"I expect a good fight,” Rua told B/R's Duane Finley. “Both of us are aggressive strikers. We both like to stand and exchange and I'm sure it's going to be a very exciting fight for the fans.”

Rua is right. This is certainly going to be a good fight, and one necessary to win if Rua is to be remembered as elite years from now. The history book has yet to be written in stone for Rua, and he is hoping to leave his fans with a fight to cement all doubts as incorrectly blasphemous.

“I will put on a great show for my fans to pay them back for all the support they have given me over the years,” explained Shogun. “It has been a great motivation for me and I will give my best against Brandon Vera on Saturday.”

Rua lost his championship belt over a year-and-a-half ago and hopes to regain contention for the honor when he faces Brandon Vera on Saturday night.