The 41-year-old legend, who was also the 2005 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix Champion, took his final bow at UFC 283 on Saturday night in front of his countrymen in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Unfortunately for Shogun, things didn’t go his way in the bout as he was taken out by Ihor Potieria via first-round TKO.
Shogun won the 205-pound strap in 2010 when he knocked out Lyoto Machida at UFC 113. Although Rua was unsuccessful in his first title defense — Jon Jones defeated him by third-round TKO in 2011 — he’d go on to make 18 more Octagon appearances.
He retired with a professional mixed martial arts record of 27-14-1, earning notable wins over the likes of Chuck Liddell, Kevin Randleman, Alistair Overeem, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Brandon Vera.
MMA Community Member Reacts to Shogun’s Retirement
Take a look at some reactions from the MMA community.
“Shogun’s retirement is truly the end of an era in MMA,” Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie tweeted. “He’s the final fighter on the UFC roster who fought for PRIDE in Japan. Only remaining UFC fighters with PRIDE experience are Nick Diaz and Robbie Lawler, both of whom fought once for the promotion, and on its U.S. cards.”
Former two-division UFC champion Henry Cejudo tweeted, “Shogun was one of two, Pride and UFC champion. congrats on your retirement @ShogunRua.”
“The MMA Hour” host Ariel Helwani tweeted, “Wouldn’t it be great if we all knew that because of his 16 years of service in the UFC, Shogun would get some kind of pension? 16 years. Something? 5 years worth? 4? Something? Would be nice.”
Sharing an image, Barstool Sports’ Robbie Fox wrote: “Me when Potieria started dancing on Shogun’s grave after the fight.” See below:
MMA Underground’s John Morgan tweeted, “Standing ovation, as it should be. Well done, Brazil. A true legend of the sport.”
“When Shogun landed that early combo, I thought the MMA gods were going to give us one!!! Damn it,” he continued.
Reactions Continued to Pour In
Twitter user @UFC_Obsessed tweeted: “Forever appreciative of everything Shogun has given to this sport. So many incredible fights. Meeting him in 2011 will always be a top 3 MMA experience for me. Happy Retirement to a legend.”
The AllStar’s Hyon Ko tweeted: “The first time I watched Shogun fight was in 2005. One of the most violent fighters ever in MMA.”
MMA Fighting’s Shaheen Al-Shatti tweeted: “There are at least 3 old Legend of Zelda files named “Shogun” buried somewhere in my closet. His 2005 run was partly what got me into MMA. Gonna be plenty of onions getting cut in the Al-Shatti household tonight.”
“Shogun’s 2005 remains one of the most impressive feats ever accomplished by a young fighter in MMA history. Imagine a 23-year-old coming from out of nowhere today and trucking through 4 of the best in the world in a span of 5 months, each more violently spectacular than the last.”
“Man was an icon at an age before most fighters even find their sea legs,” he continued.
“No one in history better wielded Pride FC’s ruleset. His ruthless creativity with stomps and soccer kicks was borderline obscene. First-ballot Hall of Famer. Lock on the first-team All-Violence squad until the end of time.”