The latest MMA star to head to famed boxing coach Freddie Roach’s Wild Card gym is Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and he’s been impressed with the Brazilian striker’s improvements there, but wasn’t too impressed with his punching power at first.
“I’m training ‘Shogun’ Rua right now and he’s punching like crazy and he can hit with both hands, but when I first got him he hit like a girl,” was Roach’s assessment of the former UFC light-heavyweight champion in an interview with FightHubTV.
With 18 knockouts in 21 career victories, many of ‘Shogun’s’ past opponents may beg to differ with that assessment, but nonetheless it’s good to see that he’s picking up new tricks.
According to Roach he’ll be working with him up until his rematch with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 161, and he says he’s been a pleasure to work with and has been learning very fast.
Meanwhile, Roach also admitted that while he respects Nick Diaz’s toughness, he doesn’t particularly rate his boxing skills.
“He might be one of the better punchers in the UFC, but he doesn’t fight like a fighter. He doesn’t shuffle in to combinations and put his weight behind his shots. He walks forward in a straight line and walks backwards in a straight line. I’m not really that impressed with his boxing.”
In the end it’s Diaz mentality that’s his biggest strength according to Roach.
“[Diaz] won’t tap out, you’ll have to kill him. He is a tough guy and I like that about him and so forth, but their mentality…I think they are more street fighters than boxers. I think he’s a good street fighter.”
Watch Roach’s full interview below.