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Forrest vs Shogun - Can Forrest Griffin Win

 Forrest Griffin and Mauricio Shogun Rua face off on September 22nd in Shogun's UFC debut. This is certainly not an easy fight for either combatant, but does Forrest Griffin really have a chance to win?

Forrest Griffin won the first season of the Ultimate Fighter reality season in an epic battle with Stephan Bonnar and mixed martial arts has never been the same. This was really the first time that a great fight was available, and watched, by a large audience on free TV. The people loved it and the UFC's popularity grew enormously.

Since that fight, Griffin has battled some big names in the light heavyweight division, including Tito Ortiz, Keith Jardine, Elvis Sinosic and Stephan Bonnar again. Griffin defeated both Sinosic and Bonnar, put on a good show against Ortiz (maybe even a draw), but lost badly to Keith Jardine. The Jardine fight was particularly interesting as Jardine was able to TKO Griffin even though we've seen many times before that Forrest Griffin has a good chin and doesn't mind getting hit. I'd even say he Charles Woodson cheap jerseys usually fights better when he's a bit bloodied up, just look at his fights with Ortiz and Bonnar as examples of this.

Mauricio Shogun Rua has faced almost every light heavyweight worth fighting in the Pride organization, with the sole exception of his Chute Box team mate Wanderlei Silva. To say that Shogun has had success is somewhat of an understatement. He has a dominant win over current UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson and wins over big names like Kevin Randleman, Ricardo Arona, Alistair Overeem and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (little Nog). He lost a match to Mark Coleman in 2006, but only because he suffered a broken arm after coming down on a bad angle during a slam.

Mauricio Rua has an aggressive style. He quite simply overwhelms his opponents with vicious strikes and kicks. He has won 12 out of his last 13 fights, 10 of them in the 1st round and 9 by KO or TKO. If you're wondering if he has the cardio to go into later rounds, consider that he won a three round fight over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by decision. Cardio for Shogun is not an issue, in fact it is one of the reasons that he can go all out and not worry about what he's got left for later in the fight.

First of all, I don't believe that Forrest will win this fight. When facing top competition, Shogun has a much better record, not just winning, but winning decisively. That said, Shogun's aggression Jason Pierre-Paul cheap jerseys can be his Achilles' heel. Sometimes he over extends himself and commits to bad situations. Usually, this works out for Shogun because he is so talented, but I can see where a Chuck Liddell could take advantage of this and knock Shogun out. Unfortunately for Forrest, he is not a knockout artist. He likes to stand and bang, but he hit Tito and Bonnar for a total of 9 rounds and didn't knock either out.

On the ground, I don't think that the story gets any better for Forrest. Sure he has submitted guys like Bill Mahood, but Shogun is a completely different animal. He trains in Brazil, along with his other Ryan Mathews cheap jerseys Chute Box team mates. There is a reason why the B in BJJ is for Brazil and I have my doubt that Forrest will catch Shogun in a submission.

So the only way I can see Forrest Griffin winning this fight is by decision. Forrest showed us in his last fight, against Hector Ramirez, that he's able to stick with a game plan and win a fight from the outside using good boxing. He will need to do this against Shogun to be successful. He will need to establish his jab early and keep Shogun at a distance to have any chance of winning this fight.

Sadly, Shogun just doesn't let his opponents do that. Ask Alistair Overeem, a good striker who gave Chuck Liddell a run in their fight early. Shogun had some trouble with Alistair early, but eventually he was able to get the upper hand and defeat him with punches Andre Johnson cheap jerseys on the ground.

I've waited a long time to see Mauricio Shogun Rua fight in the UFC. I want to see him take on the likes of Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz and yes, Forrest Griffin. I'd love to see a rematch with Quinton Jackson, or how about avenging his brother "Ninja"'s loss to Dan Henderson. One thing is for sure, the UFC light heavyweight division is stacked. It's a great time to be an MMA fan! 

 

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