Mauricio ’Shogun’ Rua is nearing retirement and expects his upcoming fight against Ovince Saint Preux to be one of the final times he competes in the Octagon.
More than seven years removed from their first fight, Rua and Saint Preux are rematching at UFC 274 on Saturday night. It is an opportunity the former UFC light heavyweight champion relishes, especially considering he now has a chance to avenge a 34-second technical knockout loss to Saint Preux.
“Actually we were supposed to fight before, so we did the first fight in 2014 and then later the UFC wanted to do the rematch,” Rua said at media day (video provided by MMA Junkie). “We almost fought some years ago, I think it was 2017 in Japan, but I got injured and the fight couldn’t happen, so you never know what’s going to happen. It was something that was there to happen eventually and thank God the UFC wanted it, we talked about it and it’s now going to take place so I’m excited. I’m motivated for it.”
Win or lose against Saint Preux, Rua has committed to retiring from competition after one more fight. The 40-year-old has a storied career, which includes iconic moments such as winning the PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix in 2005 and becoming a UFC champion by finishing Lyoto Machida at UFC 113 in 2010.
Though originally hesitant to put a date on his final fight, the Brazilian has settled on it being sometime this year.
“I already made up my mind, I want to do two fights; this one and one last, and then retire,” said Rua. “That’s what I put as a goal and hopefully maybe who knows, I can do both this year and then retire in 2022, but you never know. Either way, I want to do two fights and retire.”
UFC 274 takes place on Saturday, May 6, live from the Footprint Center in Phoenix, AZ.