UFC 283 was the setting where 41-year-old Maurício “Shogun” Rua retired from the sport of MMA after competing professionally for nearly two decades.
Shogun’s swan song was against Ihor Potieria, and ended with Ihor producing a first round TKO. Rua was competitive early, but once Potieria stung him, he was never allowed to recover. Potieria ended up dropping Shogun, and then finished him off with ground and pound.
Shogun is stepping away from competition with a stellar overall record of 27-14-1, and will forever be remembered for his tremendous heart, his textbook Chute Box Academy Muay Thai, and for producing some of the most iconic moments in mixed-martial arts history.
His biggest accolades include winning the 2005 PRIDE FC middleweight Grand Prix championship by not only defeating, but knocking out the likes of Ricardo Arona and Alistair Overeem in the same night! Then after the UFC acquired PRIDE FC and gained Shogun in the deal, Rua realized another world title in the light heavyweight division by knocking out Lyoto Machida in the first round. He lost his belt in his next match to none other than the 205-pound G.O.A.T. Jon Jones.
Go watch yourself a Shogun highlight reel right this very second, because the man would get hyper-aggressive in his hay day. He was known in Japan for his brutal soccer kicks and face stomps, and even has a soccer kick KO win over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. When Maurício won, it was usually in spectacular fashion.
There are so many world champions on Shogun’s list of knockout victims. You’ve got Overeem twice, the aforementioned Machida, Rampage, and the ADCC champ Arona. Then there’s Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin, Mark Coleman, and Kevin Randleman. Speaking of his match with Randleman, Shogun’s only submission in his 20-year career was when he hit that insane kneebar on Kevin at Pride 32: The Real Deal in 2006.
Rua’s wins were surely a joy to watch, but a lot of his losses are quite memorable as well. Who could forget when he broke his arm at PRIDE 31 against Mark “The Hammer” Coleman at PRIDE 31, by posting an arm to stop a takedown and having his elbow joint give out. By now, I think everyone has seen that clip of when Rua got knocked out by Ovince St. Preux after he slipped on that skateboard in their first fight. No, it wasn’t a real skateboard, but the GIF says otherwise.
Oh, and what Shogun retirement piece would be complete without mentioning his wild and epic wars with Dan Henderson. Those two matches with Hendo, especially the second installment, are some of the greatest fights that you will ever see — and that’s no exaggeration. We are talking top-2, top-3 all-time territory. During the pandemic of 2020, Bloody Elbow ran a 32-fight tournament over a couple of weeks where fans would vote on the greatest fight of all time… and Shogun/Hendo 2 came in 2nd place!
Trash talking wasn’t ever really Rua’s thing, but it didn’t have to be. His violent performances inside of the cage and ring spoke volumes, leaving him to hold up a respectable persona outside of competition.
It’s the end of an era here, but Maurício Shogun Rua has cemented himself as MMA royalty, and is leaving a ruthless sport with his character still intact. On behalf of all MMA fans, thank you Shogun!
About the author: Eddie Mercado has covered combat sports since 2015. He covers everything from betting odds to live events and fighter interviews. He holds a 1-0 record in pro MMA and holds a purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu. (full bio)
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