They’re not fighting for a belt, they’re fighting for legend status

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Photo: Josh Hedges

Lyoto Machida
Chuck Liddell
Mark Coleman
Alistair Overeem
Kazuhiro Nakamura
Kevin Randleman
Ricardo Arona
Rogério Minotouro
Quinton Jackson

Any fighter in the world who has put away this list of opponents already has what it takes to be considered a legend of the sport. To many fans, Mauricio Shogun isn’t one yet. Perhaps because he struck out to Forrest Griffin in the UFC, perhaps because he shone brighter in Japan than in the USA, the Jiu-Jitsu black belt from Curitiba, Brazil is still pursuing his due recognition in the octagon. Even being the grand champion of the toughest division in the world, the light heavyweight division.

To carve out one’s place as a legendary champion, and thus etch one’s name in the pantheon of the sport of mixed martial arts, Shogun has 25 minutes to complete what is perhaps his toughest mission to date: to put the brakes on the young and apparently magic Jon Jones.

Now the 23-year-old American is himself in pursuit of legend status, and he will hence have to bring his very best into his fight with Shogun, to consequently make people forget about all the Brazilian’s achievements and felled opponents from other times. Will he have it in him?

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