Brazilian Legends: One rises, one falls at UFC Fortaleza

brazilian legends

Two Brazilian MMA legends set foot in the Octagon today, but only one of them defied Father Time.

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua showed the world why he is still one of the most dangerous 205-pounder fighters out there. At UFC Fight Night Fortaleza in Brazil, the former PRIDE and UFC champion score a 3rd-round TKO win over Ray-Longo protege Gian Villante.

It was Rua’s punches that did Villante in and gave the Brazilian his third consecutive win, marking the longest win streak of his UFC career since joining the promotion in 2007. Rua, 35, proved that he still has plenty left in the tank and is capable of giving the UFC’s new blood a run for their money.

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While “Shogun” continues his streak, fellow Brazilian Vitor Belfort can’t seem to slow his decline.

The former UFC heavyweight champ lost in the main event of UFC Fortaleza via first-round TKO to The Ultimate Fighter contest winner Kelvin Gastelum. This was his third-consecutive loss via TKO. Prior to this, Gegard Mousasi and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza handed him the same fate.

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It’s been a rough road for “The Phenom,” who noticeably declined following the banning of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) in late 2015. Four of his last five fights have been TKO losses.

It must’ve been a bitter sweet night for the home fans in Brazil, as one legend showcased the “Shogun” of old, while the other failed to capture former glory.

Photos via Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports (Rua) and UFC (Belfort)

Gab Pangalangan

Gab Pangalangan is a former collegiate national Judo champ and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of DojoDrifter.com. You can find his other works in the Philippines' leading magazines and websites.
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