After almost 20 years of professional fighting, former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua could be close to calling it a career. Although ‘Shogun’ does not want to pinpoint when exactly he will hang up the gloves, he does admit the end might be closer than it seems.
In an interview with Combate, Mauricio explained how he has been thinking about retiring lately. While he does not want to say he will have his farewell after his next outing, the Brazilian makes it clear that it could be a real possibility and eyes a challenge in August or September of this year.
“My head is at ease. I’ve accomplished a lot in my career. When I stop, I’ll be grateful for all the blessings I got. I want to have one or two more fights. I’m not sure yet. I want to be relaxed and calm to make this decision on my own. I’ll fight my next fight like it’s my last, but it may not be. I don’t want to make a big deal out of it. I want to fight with no added pressure and might be my last or my second to last fight.”
After fighting at the highest level for the better part of his career, Shogun is finally ready to admit that all the years are starting to take their toll. At 39 years of age, Mauricio does not consider himself old for the sport, but admits that the added injuries and the possibility of suffering even more serious ones might jeopardize his health after he retires.
“I don’t consider myself an old guy. I have good training sessions and am able to spar with everyone. Some athletes are over 40 and doing well, like Demian Maia and Fabricio Werdum. The biggest hardship I’ve had in my career is injuries. I’m prioritizing my health post-retirement so that’s why I’m only considering fighting twice more, tops.”
In his last outing, Rua (27-12-1) got TKO’d by Paul Craig after submitting to strikes, in back in November 2020. The loss came after a split decision victory over longtime rival Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, in a trilogy bout that ended the career of “Lil Nog.”
Overall, Shogun’s record in the UFC is an almost even 11-10-1, with his debut dating all the way back to September 2007. Prior to joining the UFC and eventually winning the belt, he was a superstar in PRIDE, most notably winning the iconic 2005 middleweight grand prix where he beat Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, “Lil Nog,” Alistair Overeem and Ricardo Arona.