MMA Icon Confirms Retirement After Farewell Fight at UFC 283

UFC, Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua

Getty Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua steps on the scale.

MMA veteran Mauricio ’Shogun’ Rua is set to compete one last time before stepping away from professional competition.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rua is scheduled to take on rising prospect Ihor Potieria on Jan. 21 at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro for UFC 283, the promotion’s grand return to Rua’s homeland of Brazil after nearly three years. Potieria enters the bout looking to get back in the winning column after dropping his first appearance under the banner to Nicole Negumereanu in his July debut at UFC 277.

Meanwhile, Rua will aim to rebound off two straight losses to Ovince St. Preux and Paul Craig, and pick up his first win since Jul. 2020.

In an interview with Combate, ‘Shogun’ Rua confirmed the nearing fight would be his final walk to the octagon.

“It’s definitely my last fight,” Rua said. “And I don’t put pressure on me anymore. My obligation is to give my best, and that’s what I think about.”

Rua Is Happy With the Farewell Bout

Rua is content with the way he intends to bow out of competition and expressed gratitude for his time in the game.

“I’m happy with this fight – it will be my farewell bout, and I’m happy it’s in my country, at home,” Rua said (translated by Give Me Sport). “I’m happy. I’m grateful to the UFC for being one of the pioneers in the UFC. I’m there for 15 years – there’s no one else for that long in the UFC. I’m grateful for everything.”

Considering the immense success he achieved, Rua believes it is the right time to stop.

“I’ve been fighting for 20 years, started really early, and have been fighting for many years at the highest level – since 2005 against the best. So I’m a fulfilled man and grateful to God for everything I’ve accomplished in my career. Being that way, that makes me stop at the right time.”

‘Shogun’ Boasts One of the Most Decorated Resumes

Having started his mixed martial arts career in 2002, Rua quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with during his days under the now-defunct Pride Fighting Championships banner, where he became the 2005 middleweight Grand Prix champion.

 He took to the octagon against multiple renowned figures in the sport and even defeated multiple of them more than once. In Apr. 2005, Rua faced former UFC 205-pound champion Quinton Jackson and handily defeated him in the first round with soccer kicks.

Rua went on to compete with seasoned pro Antonio Rogerio Nogueira next and came out on top of the judges’ scorecards. The two clashed again two more times, with Rua going 3-0 up over ‘Big Nog.’ He faced Alistair Overeem, the first man to hold titles in both kickboxing and MMA, in his next bout and scored a quick TKO finish to extend his winning run. 

Rua has racked up wins over the likes of Kevin Randleman, Chuck Liddell, Lyoto Machida, Mark Coleman, Brandon Vera, and Forrest Griffin. He also has experience stepping opposite Jon Jones, Dan Henderson, Alexander Gustafsson, and Chael Sonnen, among others. 

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