This a fight for all the old fans, a rematch between Shogun and Little Nog, Shogun is a former Champion, a guy going back to the well so to speak. Little Nog is the old lion who is on his way out in many people’s eyes, still a threat standing and on the ground with a will of iron. This fight is really a do or die whoever loses is pretty much done in my eyes. For Little Nogs sake I hope its him because many fighters and insiders and even fans are tired of seeing him take so much punishment for no reason his last fight if you can call it that versus Rumble Johnson was really a legal assault. Shogun is making a career resurgence but with a lose to Little Nog that could end it before it begins. This is a nostalgia fight with a lot riding on it for both fighters.
Skill wise everyone knows Shogun when healthy is one of the hardest hitting and technical strikers at 205. I stress the healthy part because if he’s not healthy he’s not training which for him is a key to success. I’m happy to say that he has gone back to his roots with Master Rafael Cordeiro at Kings MMA, he’s rebuilding his former self he’s getting his hands back the tools that ended many a contest in Pride FC. A man with one of the most beautiful Muay Thai Dutchies I have seen, along with knees and roundhouses that Rua throws at one speed fast and deliberately.
Along with the teachings of one of the best if not the best striking coaches in MMA hes training with Werdum and RDA to high level world class black belts and a slew of wild wrestlers. So his ground game will improve upon what it already was. What’s also is not worthy is a former X factor when breaking down Shogun in his love or want to train and compete. Shogun has gone back to the well he wants it something that happens to Champions that fall from the mountain in tragic form, he wasn’t healthy he didn’t want to train, he just didn’t want to fight anymore. Its nice to see that want back in one of my idols in Shogun he’s not breaking his body anymore with negligent practices but focusing on returning to his real self which is a beautiful thing to watch.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira what can you say the man is a legend, but I wish he would just stop. I can’t stand watching someone take punishment when they have nothing more to prove. From a skill level we know what little Nog has, beautiful fundamental boxing take down defense when he needs it and one of the first high level black belts in MMA with a dangerous guard. He shut down Rashad Evans not long ago with a beautiful use of his Olympic caliber left hand and straight right, add great defense and a lack of fear of ground and knowing that his opponent is scared of being in his guard he is a dangerous and awkward light heavyweight. He’s slow and steady in his attack standing and grappling hes is of the Helio Gracie cooking school. Where he’s just going to dot you up to start then a heavy shots going to come after a while the n more heavy shots until your busted up then he will really pour it on you, same thing on the ground he’s going to walk you into a sweep then catch you trying to escape and when your hand hits the mat it’s a wrap quite literally I might add.
How this bout shakes down in my opinion is a striker in Shogun with a new found love for the fight game running through a legend and good fighter Little Nog. Both men are legends but because of Shoguns style and respect for Little Nog he knows he can beat him and will just pressure from the start to get Nog out of there quickly similar to Rumble Johnson but with more kicks and clinch work. What could happen is Shogun gets lazy in his game plan and gets caught being too relaxed in the cage. A punchers chance given to little Nog why, because he can still crack and is still Little Nog on the ground so if Shogun doesn’t dot all his I’s and cross those T’s it could be a long night or a short one depending on how you look at it.
All in all this is a return to Pride match up that all the old fans will love but many will also have mixed feelings about because of how bad Little Nog has looked and how much damage he’s still taking. Such is the will of a fighter nobody can force him to stop he has to decide that he wants to stop, legends will be legends I guess.
-Stay Chill Family and Folks