A Tribute to Mauricio Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua’s Career

November 23, 2020 3:47 pm

Mauricio Rua is one of the most decorated fighters in the UFC. The Brazilian fighter is the former light heavyweight champion in the organization and is a UFC Hall of Famer. 

He hails from Curitiba, Brazil which has produced champions such as himself, Anderson Silva, Cris Cyborg among many others. 

In 2005, ‘Shogun’ entered the Pride Middleweight Grand Prix. During his run to the top, he faced legends such as Quinton Jackson and Antonio Nogueira, among others. In the final, he faced Ricardo Arona and knocked him out to become the 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix champion for Pride. 

During his time with the organization, he faced legends such as Alistair Overeem, Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman among others. The UFC bought the organization, and ‘Shogun’ then signed with the UFC and made his debut at UFC 76. 

Mauricio Rua and his UFC run

Shogun ‘had his first UFC match against Forrest Griffin. Unfortunately, he did not get off to the most auspicious start as he lost the fight to a third-round rear-naked choke. 

He then bounced back with wins against Mark Coleman and Chuck Liddell, both via TKO. His two-fight win streak allowed him to fight for the title against Lyoto Machida at UFC 104. However, he lost the fight via unanimous decision. He was then given a rematch against ‘The Dragon’ at UFC 113, where he knocked out Machida in the first round to become the UFC light heavyweight champion. 

In his very first title defense, Rua faced Jon Jones, who beat him to become the youngest ever UFC champion. After his loss to Jon Jones, Rua faced Forrest Griffin and knocked him out in the first round to avenge his debut loss. 

Ever since his win against Forrest Griffin ‘Shogun’s’ career has been topsy-turvy with wins sandwiched between multiple consecutive losses 

At light heavyweight, he holds multiple records. He holds the record for total fights (22),  most Fight Night bonuses (8),  and is in the top 10 for a lot of the other categories. 

He came close to fighting for the title when he was on a three-fight win streak. ‘Shogun’  faced Anthony Smith in July 2018 in an attempt to make it 4-0. Unfortunately, Rua was stopped in the very first round and Anthony Smith fought for the title the very next year. After his loss against Smith, he bounced back with a win over Tyson Pedro before a draw against Paul Craig. 

What is next for ‘Shogun’?

Shogun fought twice in 2020. He faced Antonio Nogueira in July 2020 and won the fight via split decision. Most recently, the previous weekend, he fought Paul Craig and was stopped in the second round of the fight.

 Mauricio Rua is now 38 years old. Despite his age, he proved that he still has the fight left in him to compete against much younger fighters in the UFC.

However, UFC president Dana White does not believe that he should continue fighting and wants him to retire. Rua is currently ranked 14 in the UFC and is 1-1-1 in his last three fights. Given his rank and current form, a title fight does not seem likely in the near future if he is allowed to continue fighting.  

The former champion has achieved a lot in the sport and has secured wins over some great fighters who will definitely go into the UFC Hall of Fame. Therefore, if he were to draw the curtains on his career, it would be the end of one of the most decorated careers in combat sports. 

Read: Dana White wants Shogun Rua to retire- “I hope tonight was his last night”

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