• UFC 129

Jon Jones didn't beat the real Shogun Rua - Machida

ESPN staff
April 18, 2011

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Lyoto Machida believes Jon Jones fought a below-par version of Mauricio Shogun Rua at UFC 128, and he has backed the Brazilian to bounce back against Forrest Griffin in August.

Machida is currently preparing to fight Randy Couture at UFC 129, but it was Shogun who dethroned him of the light-heavyweight title at UFC 113. However, the Shogun that recently lost to Jones in a one-sided three-round battering was a pale imitation of the man that beat Machida.

Many theories have emerged over the lacklustre nature of Rua's performance, with brother Murilo claiming an early knee sucked the life out of him, while other observers have pointed to Shogun's recovery from knee surgery and late change of opponent from Rashad Evans as factors in the defeat.

Machida believes all these suggestions may have taken their toll, and he claims Jones has not met a 100 per cent prepared Shogun Rua.

"Shogun is a tough guy. It's no accident he's reached the level where he's at. He has won everything he has won by his talent and effort," Machida said to Sherdog.

"I know Shogun has more to show than that. Maybe he failed to bring his game or maybe he felt the pressure of defending the belt for the first time. As I've said before, there are other factors we don't know about, other factors that may have interfered. They changed opponents on him. That can interfere with a fight. I have no doubt he could have fought better.

"I'm sure if Shogun was the same fighter he was when we fought in Los Angeles the fight would have been much more difficult for Jones. Shogun would have had a great chance, and it would not have been as easy as it was."

Machida is hoping to set up a clash with the last man to beat him, Rampage Jackson, if he beats Couture on April 30.

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