You’re either a fan of the UFC, or you’re not. There’s no middle ground, the UFC is like marmite. But, if you’re a fan of it, then you’re up on the UFC fight lines, you’re watching the fights, you have your favorite contenders.
Hell, you probably know the names of all the legends too right? Well, if that’s the case then you know of Mauricio Rua, aka. Shogun! Some call him the best MMA fighter there ever was.
This is heavily disputed because there have been so many legendary fighters in MMA, it is hard to really pick a best, but Mauricio comes close. So, who is he, and what is his legacy in MMA?
Who Is Mauricio Rua?
Mauricio is a Brazilian professional MMA fighter and a former model as well. He competes in light heavyweight UFC fights, and he is a previous champion in this reign.
He has competed professionally since 2002, and he is also the PRIDE middleweight Grand Prix Champion as of 2005.
He has a black prajied in Muay Thai, a black belt in BJJ, and he is a 41 time record holder. He has won 27 times, 21 of those y knockout, and only lost 13 times.
Mauricio started his career, training in BJJ when he was only 6, and started in Muay Thai when he was 7. However, now he also trains in boxing and wrestling too, making him a very deadly combo to his opponents.
He started his early MMA career at events in Brazil. He gained 3 stoppages thanks to his strikes, and he even won over his future teammate Evangelista Santos.
Santos had matched Rua on the feet until Rua took him to the ground, forcing stoppages from strikes on mount.
Rua then entered the IFC in the Global Domination Tournament, and he won his first bout vs Wanderlei in punches, but he got the first submission of his career against Sobral after.
He was very victorious in the IFC, and he made his way to Japan to enter PRIDE. He started off in Bushido, and he defeated Shoji, Gono, and Namekawa all in the first round.
He faced a former pro at PRIDE 29, Kanehara, who was known for toughness, and he took him down with stomps in the first round like it was nothing.
He then entered the Grand Prix as an underdog, no one expecting very much. His first fight was with Jackson who he challenged at PRIDE 29. He dominated the favored fighter from the second he stepped in the right.
He broke Jacksons ribs, and ended it all with soccer kicks. Later on, Jackson stated that Rua was the best fighter he had ever gone up against.
After his Grand Prix victory, Shogun faced Mark Coleman in PRIDE 31, Coleman executed a takedown and RUA landed badly, dislocating his elbow and forcing a stoppage. This led to a memorable moment as the ref pulled Coleman away and was confronted by Rua’s corner.
His PRIDE career ended after he defeated Cyrille Diabate in a tapout with stomps. He had also submitted Kevin Randleman with a kneebar in the first round.
His last ever appearance at PRIDE, was at PRIDE 33, he rematched Overeem, and knocked him out at 3:37 in the very first round!
By the time this all came to a close for Rua, he was ranked as being the top fighter in his division by Sherdog, Nokaut, and MMAWeekly!
“2 Fights Left In Him”
As of May 2022, Shogun is not so sure how much longer he has left in his MMA career, but he has made a plan. He has said “2 more fights” before he calls it a day.
He’s approaching his 41st fight, and in his 40s his name is well known, and he is infamous for his PRIDE accomplishments. He is one of the few fighters to ever hold both UFC and PRIDE belts.
However, his UFC career has had good and bad parts, and despite being one of the best in his division there have been injuries, long periods of inactivity, and some inconsistencies, there’s been a few ‘what if’s’ flying around, so it’s probably for the best.