Machida: No-'Sho' Rua wasn't self vs. Jones

Rua couldn't miss a hook or cross to the face, but was he sans something else against Jones? AP Photo/Mel Evans

Former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida in a recent interview with Sherdog.com on Mauricio Rua and his one-sided loss to Jon Jones at UFC 128 in March:

“Shogun is a tough guy. It’s no accident he’s reached the level where he’s at. He has won everything he has won by his talent and effort. I know Shogun has more to show than that. Maybe he failed to bring his game or maybe he felt the pressure of defending the belt for the first time. As I’ve said before, there are other factors we don’t know about, other factors that may have interfered. They changed opponents on him. That can interfere with a fight. I have no doubt he could have fought better. I’m sure if Shogun was the same fighter he was when we fought in Los Angeles the fight would have been much more difficult for Jones. Shogun would have had a great chance, and it would not have been as easy as it was.”

Machida defeated Rua by a contentious unanimous decision to retain the 205-pound title at UFC 104 in October 2009. He surrendered it seven months later, as Shogun won the rematch by first-round knockout at UFC 113 in Montreal.