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Tuesday, 08/13/2013, 09:48 am

Freddie Roach: Shogun doesn’t punch “like a girl” anymore

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua may have knocked out many mixed martial art fighters in his career, but boxing coach Freddie Roach used to think that he punched like a girl. The former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champion had impressive knockout victories over Lyoto Machida, Chuck Liddell, Alistair Overeem and many others. His list wasn’t enough to impress Roach, who has coached boxers like Manny Pacquiao and Oscar de La Hoya.

Fortunately for Rua, he has made great improvement since working with Roach. According to Roach, Rua went from being a good puncher to a great puncher since Rua started working with him.

Roach shared his thoughts of Rua’s improvement on “The MMA Hour” on Monday.

“It’s funny, when we first started working together [Rua] wasn’t punching really hard because he didn’t have his balance and his feet under him, and I told him he punched like a girl,” Roach said on “The MMA Hour.” “The last day he said, ‘Freddie, can I ask you a question? Do I punch like a boy now?’ I said, ‘Yes, you do.’ He’s really fun guy to be around and a really hard worker. We had a really good time.”

Rua can use his new punching techniques when he challenges Chael Sonnen in the main event of UFC Fight Night 26: Shogun vs. Sonnen this Saturday at the TD Bank Garden in Boston. It will air on Fox Sports 1.

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