Former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua will hang up his gloves following his UFC 283 appearance on January 21. ‘Shogun’ made the announcement during an interview with Brazilian news outlet Combate.
“It’s definitely my last fight,” Rua said (translation by MMAJunkie). “And I don’t put pressure on me anymore. My obligation is to give my best, and that’s what I think about.”
Rua (27-13-1) has been competing professionally for the last two decades. The 41-year old made his debut in November 2002. After winning his first three fights by knockout, Rua entered the IFC Light Heavyweight Tournament only 10 months into his pro career. He was defeated in the semifinal round by future UFC title challenger Renato “Babalu” Sobral.
With a 4-1 record and 11 months after making his debut, Rua signed with the Japanese fight promotion Pride FC in October 2003. In Japan, Rua rose to legendary status. He entered the 2005 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix and annihilated the competition on his way to the title. He holds two wins over Alistair Overeem as well as wins over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Chuck Liddell, Antônio Rogério Nogueira, Mark Coleman, Forrest Griffin, among others.
He captured the UFC 205-pound championship at UFC 113 in May 2010 by knocking out Lyoto Machida. He was defeated in his first title defense by Jon Jones. His two bouts against Dan Henderson became instant classics.
Rua faces Ihor Potieria at UFC 283 at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rua is happy that his career will come to a close in his home country.
“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. “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.
“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.”
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