This weekend (Saturday, November 8, 2014) former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will take on No. 10-ranked Ovince St. Preux in the main event of UFC Fight Night 56 from the Ginásio Municipal Tancredo Neves in Uberlândia, Brazil.

Once a devastating force of nature who ran through competition with thunderous ease in his early days in Pride, Rua has seen better days in his career. He’s lost three out of his past four UFC bouts and five out of his past eight.

Those aren’t the kind of stats you’d expect from a Top 10-ranked challenger who is used to fighting the best in the world. And his recent wins over James Te Huna, Brandon Vera, and a close-to-retiring Forrest Griffin, while thoroughly exciting, were not exactly the top-quality victories we’d come to expect from Shogun.

Unfortunately, Rua is suffering from a rather sharp decline for a fighter of only 32 years, and there are a few major reasons why. He may have a chance to fight his way back into some degree of relevancy on Saturday night, but overall Rua has dropped out of top contender status. Let’s examine why that is the case.

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A huge fan of MMA since the 'Dark Ages' of the UFC, I pride myself on keeping up-to-date on all news and developments surrounding the sport. I've watched it grow from shunned spectacle to the lofty position it enjoys now, and it's been a great ride!