UFC 283 was the scene where Maurício “Shogun” Rua, 41, retired from the sport of MMA after competing professionally for nearly two decades.
Shogun’s swan song was against Ihor Potieria, and it ended with Ihor producing a first-round TKO. Rua was competitive early on, but once Potieria stung him, he was never allowed to recover. Potieria ended up dropping Shogun, and then submitted him with ground and pound.
Shogun is walking away from the competition with a stellar overall record of 27-14-1 and will forever be remembered for his tremendous heart, his Chute Box Academy Muay Thai book, and for producing some of the most iconic moments in mixed martial arts. story.
His biggest accolades include winning the PRIDE FC Middleweight Championship in 2005, not just defeating, but knocking out the likes of Ricardo Arona. and Alistair Overeem on the same night! After the UFC acquired PRIDE FC and gained Shogun in the deal, Rua captured yet another world title in the light heavyweight division by knocking out Lyoto Machida in the first round. He lost the belt in his next fight to none other than the 205 pound GOAT Jon Jones.
Go watch yourself 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 has a soccer kick knockout victory over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. When Mauritius won, he was usually in spectacular form.
There are so many world champions on Shogun’s knockout list. 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 bout with Randleman, Shogun’s only submission in his 20-year career was when he landed that insane kneebar on Kevin at Pride 32: The Real Deal in 2006.
Rua’s wins were certainly a joy to watch, but many of his losses are also memorable. Who could forget when he broke his arm at PRIDE 31 against Mark “The Hammer” Coleman at PRIDE 31, positioning his arm to stop a takedown and having his elbow joint give way. By now, I think everyone has seen that clip from when Rua was knocked out by Ovince St. Preux after he slipped on his skateboard in the first fight. No, it wasn’t a real skateboard, but the GIF says otherwise.
Oh, and what Shogun retirement play would be complete without mentioning his wild, epic wars with Dan Henderson. Those two fights with Hendo, especially the second one, are some of the biggest fights you’ll ever see – and that’s no exaggeration. We’re talking top 2, top 3 territory of all time. During the 2020 pandemic, Bloody Elbow held a 32 fight tournament over a few weeks where fans would vote for the greatest fight of all time… and Shogun/Hendo 2 took 2nd place!
Small talk was never Street’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 the competition.
It’s the end of an era around here, but Maurício Shogun Rua has established himself as MMA royalty and leaves a relentless sport with his personality intact. On behalf of all MMA fans, thank you Shogun!
About the author: Eddie Mercado has been covering combat sports since 2015. He covers everything from betting odds to live events and fighter interviews. He has a 1-0 record in professional MMA and is a Jiu-Jitsu purple belt. (full biography)