Léo Nogueira: “I Invited Shogun to Show his Jiu-Jitsu at the South Americans”

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Maurício Shogun ao lado de Léo Nogueira com seus cinturões. Foto: Arquivo Pessoal

Maurício Shogun and Léo Nogueira pose with UFC and Pride FC belts. Personal archive photo.

Mauricio Shogun is one UFC star who understands the motto “hard time in training, easy time in fighting” in the flesh. That’s what he set up all around him in the lead-up to his December 8 showdown with Alexander Gustafsson, at the event headlined by Ben Henderson’s title defense against Nate Diaz.

One of the most stalwart reinforcements he added to his camp was two-time Jiu-Jitsu world champion Léo Nogueira, the current absolute world runner-up.

“Training with Shogun has been excellent. His ground game is great. I even asked him to come double up with me at the South American Championship next weekend so we can shut out at weight and absolute. The guy is really tough on his feet. He hits really hard. I took a punch to the nose that I’ll never forget (laughs),” said Nogueira in amusement, before sharing the lesson he derived from training with the former UFC light heavyweight champion.

“Shogun is an exceptional guy. He has the heart of a lion, was born to be a warrior. I learned one key lesson from him: if you have faith in your game but feel tired, don’t stop, because your opponent will be exhausted too.”

Léo added that he has adapted his Jiu-Jitsu to the more aggressive game of MMA:

“I’m adapting my game because things change when you get hit. It’s nothing I can’t deal with, though. Maybe by the end of 2013 I’ll have an MMA fight lined up. First I want to work on my boxing and Thai boxing, though.”

On the seventh iteration of the South American Championship, the ace from team Alliance is confident; and he has a powerful ally to help him close out his weight division and the absolute.

“Alliance’s goal is to win the adult contest. We’re going in with a strong team. I’m really confident. I’m going to give it my all, and I hope to close out with my buddy Leonardo Leite,” he said, referring to the current ultraheavyweight world runner-up.

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