UFC 283 was the scene of 41-year-old Maurício “Shogun” Rua’s retirement from the sport of MMA after nearly two decades of competing professionally.
Shogun’s swan song was against Ihor Potieria and ended with Ihor producing a first round TKO. Rua was competitive early on but after being stabbed by Potieria he was never allowed to recover. Potieria eventually dropped Shogun and then ground and pounded him.
Standing out from the competition with a stellar overall record of 27-14-1, Shogun will forever be remembered for his enormous heart, his textbook Chute Box Academy Muay Thai and for creating some of the most iconic moments in mixed martial arts has history.
Among his greatest accolades is winning the 2005 PRIDE FC Middleweight Grand Prix Championship by not only beating but knocking out players like Ricardo Arona and Alistair Overeem same night! After the UFC took over PRIDE FC and Shogun won, Rua claimed another world light heavyweight title by defeating Lyoto Machida in the first round. He lost his belt in his next match to none other than the 205lb GOAT Jon Jones.
Watch a shogun highlight reel right this second because the man would go hyper aggressive on 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 KO victims. They have Overeem twice, the aforementioned Machida, Rampage, and ADCC Champion 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 gave Kevin that insane knee bar at Pride 32: The Real Deal in 2006.
Rua’s victories were certainly a joy to behold, but many of his defeats are also quite memorable. Who could forget how he broke his arm at PRIDE 31 against Mark “The Hammer” Coleman at PRIDE 31 by posting an arm to stop a takedown and losing his elbow joint. By now everyone has probably seen this clip of Rua being KO’d by Ovince St. Preux after he slipped on his skateboard during their first fight. No, it wasn’t a real skateboard, but the GIF says otherwise.
Oh, and what a Shogun retirement play would be complete without mentioning his wild and epic wars with Dan Henderson. These two fights with Hendo, especially the second part, are among the biggest fights you will ever see – and that’s no exaggeration. We’re talking top-2, top-3 of all time. During the 2020 pandemic, Bloody Elbow held a 32-fight tournament over a couple of weeks, where fans voted on the greatest fight of all time… and Shogun/Hendo 2 took 2nd place!
Trash talk has never really been Rua’s thing, but it didn’t have to be. His violent performances in the cage and in the ring spoke volumes and made him a respectable figure outside of competition.
It’s the end of an era here, but Maurício Shogun Rua has established himself as the MMA king, leaving a ruthless sport with his character still intact. On behalf of all MMA fans, thank you Shogun!
About the author: Eddie Mercado has been covering martial arts since 2015. He covers everything from betting odds to live events and fighter interviews. He holds a 1-0 record in pro MMA and a purple belt in jiu-jitsu. (full bio)