Maurício Rua

Maurício Rua in a file photo [Image-UFC.com]

Maurcio Milani Rua was born on November 25, 1981. He also goes by the name Shogun. He is a former model and retired mixed martial fighter from Brazil. He participated in the Ultimate Fighting Championship's Light Heavyweight category (UFC). He formerly held the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Rua has been a professional athlete since 2002 and she won the 2005 PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix.

NameMaurcio Milani Rua
D.O.BNovember 25, 1981
Height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight93 kg
OccupationModel, Mixed Martial Artist
Professional Debut2002
WifeRenata Ribeiro
NicknamesShogun

Background

Rua is of Italian and Portuguese ancestry and was born and reared in Curitiba, Brazil. Rua’s mother is a marathon runner who was formerly a track athlete, while his father is a businessman. Murilo, also known as Ninja, was his older brother and was born in 1980. His younger brother is Marcos (nicknamed Shaolin).

Though Marcos does not engage in professional competition, both mixed martial artists train there. The Rua boys and their mother occasionally run 10 kilometers. At the age of six, Rua started learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and at seven, he started Muay Thai. Rua completed his training at the Chute Boxe Academy after his older brother and achieved blue and purple belt victories in BJJ competitions. He currently practices boxing and wrestling in addition to Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Early Career

Rua began his professional career at vale tudo competitions in Brazil, where he earned three stoppages due to strikes and defeated Evangelista Santos, a future colleague at Chute Boxe Academy. Santos and Rua engaged in brisk combat until Rua knocked Santos to the ground and stopped the fight with blows from mount. Shogun then participated in the Global Domination Tournament of the International Fighting Championships (IFC). Rua defeated Erik Wanderlei in his first fight by punches, but Renato Sobral’s guillotine in the third round of their second fight resulted in Rua’s first career submission loss.

Pride Fighting Championship

Shogun traveled to Japan after winning the IFC championship in order to join the PRIDE organization. At the first PRIDE Bushido 1, a separate event for lighter combatants, he made his PRIDE debut. Rua won all three of his first-round strikes against Akira Shoji, Akihiro Gono, and Yasuhito Namekawa in his three Bushido matches. At PRIDE 29, Rua advanced to make his major PRIDE event debut against the strong Japanese fighter and former professional wrestler Hiromitsu Kanehara. In the opening round, Rua stomped Kanehara to victory.

He went into the Middleweight Grand Prix competition for PRIDE 2005 as an underdog. While Ricardo Arona defeated Wanderlei Silva, a teammate of Rua, by decision, Rua defeated Alistair Overeem by TKO in the opening round. The tournament’s final match pitted Rua and Arona against one another. Rua knocked Arona out with punches at 2:54 in the first round to win the fight and claim the title of 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix Champion.

He tapped out French kickboxer Cyrille Diabate at PRIDE Final Conflict Absolute after being stomped. His lone submission victory came at Pride 32 when he knee-barred former UFC Heavyweight Champion Kevin Randleman at 2:35 of the first frame. He fought Alistair Overeem again at Pride 33, when he defeated the Dutchman at 3:37 in the first round. This was his final PRIDE outing.

UFC Career

On September 22, 2007, Mauricio Rua faced off in the octagon for the first time against Forest Griffin at UFC 76. In the third round, Rua was submitted and the bout was over. On October 24, 2009, at UFC 104, “Shogun” competed against Lyoto Machida for the UFC light heavyweight championship but lost by unanimous decision.

On May 8, 2010, Lyoto Machida was knocked out by Rua, who then went on to win the UFC light heavyweight championship. Jon Jones defeated Mauricio Rua for the UFC light heavyweight championship at UFC 128 on March 19, 2011. The fight ended with a technical knockout for Jones. At UFC 274 on May 7, 2022, Mauricio Rua and Ovince Saint Preux also squared off. Rua was defeated by the decision.

At UFC 283, Rua took against Ihor Potieria on January 21, 2023. During the post-fight interview, Rua declared his retirement after being defeated in the first round via technical knockout.

Championships and Accomplishments

  • PRIDE Fighting Championships
    2005 PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix Champion
  • Ultimate Fighting Championship
    UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
    Knockout of the Night (Three times) vs. Chuck Liddell, Lyoto Machida, and James Te Huna
    Fight of the Night (Four times) vs. Mark Coleman, Dan Henderson (x2), Antônio Rogério Nogueira
    Performance of the Night (One time) vs. Tyson Pedro
    Tied ( with Jon Jones, Ovince Saint Preux, and Glover Teixeira) for most fight-night bonuses in UFC Light Heavyweight division history (eight)
    Fight of the Year (2011) vs. Dan Henderson
    UFC Hall of Fame (Fight Wing, Class of 2018) vs. Dan Henderson at UFC 139
  • World MMA Awards
    2010 Knockout of the Year vs. Lyoto Machida at UFC 113
  • Sherdog
    2005 Fighter of the Year
    2005 Fight of the Year versus Antônio Rogério Nogueira on 26 June
    2009 Comeback Fighter of the Year
    Mixed Martial Arts Hall of Fame
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
    2011 Fight of the Year versus Dan Henderson on 19 November

MMA records

42 matches 27 wins 14 losses
By knockout 21 7
By submission 1 3
By decision 5 4
Draws 1