Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua found himself in a tougher fight than he expected against late replacement Paul Craig at UFC Fight Night 164 on Saturday night and after it ended in a split draw verdict, the Brazilian legend has called for an immediate rematch.
The fight played out in an unexpected fashion with noted submission expert Craig being the aggressor on the feet and clearly hurt ‘Shogun’ in the opening round.
In response Rua then began to abandon his own striking and instead took down Craig in the rounds that followed, while steering clear of his submission attempts, but it wasn’t enough to earn him a clear victory on the night.
“I clearly knew that I had lost the first round,” Shogun told reporters backstage. “I won the second and third. My corner oriented me and said the same thing, and I was conscious of that. Everyone that I’ve talked to after the fight said the same thing including people from the UFC: judges, matchmakers. So I didn’t really understand the criteria that the judges used to give the victory. It’s something that’s not in our control, and it happens.
“It’s pretty frustrating because I can’t understand the judges criteria. I think that I clearly won. He won the first round, but I won the second and third.”
It seems both fighters attention has now turned to a rematch with Craig suggesting his homeland of Scotland as a potential landing spot for the tussle, while Shogun just appears eager to fight him next, no matter where it ends up being.
“He’s already been talking about a rematch,” Shogun said. “I don’t know where. I’ll accept it. I think that we deserve a rematch for this fight. I don’t think this was resolved. I would accept it if Paul would accepts it. If the UFC wants it I’ll accept it. I think we deserve a rematch for this fight.”