Former light heavyweight champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua faced Paul Craig in the UFC on ESPN+ 22 co-main event on Saturday in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The fight went the distance with the judges scoring the bout a split draw. Rua was left frustrated and dismayed about the scoring and let it be known during the event's post-fight press conference.
Craig was determined to rise to the occasion and took the fight to the UFC Hall of Famer. In the opening round, Rua had to weather a firestorm of strikes. In the second and third rounds, Rua spent most of the time in top position on the ground.
“I clearly knew that I had lost the first round. I won the second and third. My corner oriented me and said the same thing, and I was conscious of that. Everyone that I’ve talked to after the fight said the same thing including people from the UFC: judges, matchmakers. So I didn’t really understand the criteria that the judges used to give the victory," said Rua. "It’s something that’s not in our control, and it happens.
“It’s pretty frustrating because I can’t understand the judges criteria,” Rua added. “I think that I clearly won. He won the first round, but I won the second and third.”
Believing that he should have been declared the winner, Rua wants a rematch against Craig. It was the first time in Rua's 38-fight career that he's fought to a draw, and he thinks a rematch is warranted.
“He’s already been talking about a rematch. I don’t know where. I’ll accept it. I think that we deserve a rematch for this fight. I don’t think this was resolved," said Rua. “I would accept it if Paul would accepts it. If the UFC wants it I’ll accept it. I think we deserve a rematch for this fight."