Anybody pumped for this epic sequel?
A quick reminder of what we’re talking
It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure, considering the matchup is perfect for serving one very rare steak with extra tomato ketchup:
Two plodding, iron chinned sluggers with exponentially more heart than speed or finesse.
The first fight was a moral draw, although the refs saw Hendo as a clear victor.
What shape will they be in?
From what I read, Dan can replace his most precious hormone for one final time.
Mr. Rua looked unspectacular as always during weigh-in, so no great difference in perceived shape.
Strategy wise, let’s start with Dan:
What really went well was the pace and timing. No need to change that.
Dan was controlling much of the rythm and distance of round 1-3, even though the Brazilian was usually the one pressuring.
Defense against Shogun’s go-to takedowns should be practised, however.
Shogun has to be more creative in his setups and use more tempo variation.
Takedowns, which were a surprisingly big part of his gameplan shouldn’t be forced from clinch - these were costly in terms of endurance.
(But maybe that WAS the idea, wearing down the old wrestler with wrestling?)
Instead, Shogun should rely on his scrambling and counters. For straight takedowns Rua just lacks the raw speed nowadays.
Tactic & Technique wise, we shouldn’t expect Dan to do anything different; the man is 43.
It’s hard to imagine he’ll surprise us with something.
Other than his grit, of course.
What Dan -who btw is on a three-match-losing-streak- surely will avoid this time is underestimating Shogun’s ability to counter while getting tagged against the cage.
I fully expect Hendo to be more cautious here, throwing two or three hands and then clinching up for some dirty boxing.
Shogun on the other hand, has plenty of options:
He can have a nice offensive jab if he wants- that’s one big tool to victory.
A snappy front kick here and there won’t hurt either.
His coaches will surely drilled a good counter against Dan’s left-inside-right-hook combo. A move that Hendo had so much success with not only versus Rua (connecting hard at least twice) but against many opponents.
What do you think?