UFC 283 was the scene where 41-year-old Maurício “Shogun” Rua retired from the sport of MMA after competing professionally for nearly two decades.
Shogun’s swan song came against Ihor Potieria and ended with Ihor producing a first round TKO. Rua was competitive at first, but once Potieria bit him, he was never allowed to recover. Potieria ended up taking Shogun down and then finished him off with a ground and pound.
Shogun walks away from the competition with a stellar overall record of 27-14-1, and will always be remembered for his tremendous heart, his Chute Box Academy Muay Thai textbook, and for producing some of the most iconic moments in mixed martial arts. . history.
His highest accolades include winning the PRIDE FC Middleweight Grand Prix championship in 2005 by not only defeating but also knocking out the likes of Ricardo Arona. Y Alistair Overeem on the same night! Then, after the UFC acquired PRIDE FC and won Shogun in the deal, Rua clinched 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 GOAT Jon Jones.
Go check out a Shogun highlight reel this very second, because the man would get hyper-aggressive on his hay day. He was known in Japan for his brutal soccer kicks and face stomps, and even won a soccer kick knockout of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. When Maurício won, he usually did it in spectacular fashion.
There are so many world champions on the Shogun’s list of knockout victims. You 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 hit Kevin with that crazy knee bar at Pride 32: The Real Deal in 2006.
Rua’s wins were surely a joy to watch, but many of his losses are pretty memorable as well. Who could forget when he broke his arm at PRIDE 31 against Mark “The Hammer” Coleman at PRIDE 31, posting an arm to stop a takedown and losing the elbow joint? By now, I think everyone has seen that clip of Ovince St. Preux knocking out Rua after he slipped on that skateboard in his first fight. No, he 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 fights with Hendo, especially the second installment, are some of the best fights you’ll ever see, and that’s not an exaggeration. We’re talking top 2, top 3 territory of all time. During the 2020 pandemic, Bloody Elbow hosted a 32-fight tournament over a couple of weeks where the fans voted on the greatest fight of all time…and Shogun/Hendo 2 came in second!
Talking trash was never really Rua’s thing, but it didn’t have to be. His violent performances inside the cage and in the ring spoke volumes, leaving him with a respectable personality outside of the competition.
It’s the end of an era here, but Maurício Shogun Rua has established himself as MMA royalty and is leaving a cutthroat sport with its 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 to fighter interviews. He has a 1-0 record in professional MMA and a purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu. (complete biography)