Mauricio Shogun Rua
- Full name Mauricio Milani Rua
- Nickname Shogun
- Birth date November 25, 1981
- Birth place Curitiba
- Current age 34 years 74 days
- Height 6 ft 1 in
- Weight 205 lb
Often referred to as the most dangerous light-heavyweight on the planet, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua has finally brought to the UFC what he exhibited for so long in Pride: Cool-blooded, clinical violence.
The former UFC light-heavyweight champion, Shogun's transition from Pride to the UFC was an unsteady one. In Pride he had destroyed the likes of Quinton Jackson, breaking Rampage's ribs in the process, but upon entry into MMA's top table he was instantly served a defeat by Forrest Griffin.
A Muay Thai exponent with the ability to inflict pain from every angle conceivable, Shogun is known by MMA fanatics and critics alike to possess one of the most well-rounded games in the sport. As a jiu-jitsu black belt, the Brazilian can win a fight from any position, yet his arrival in the UFC just did not fit... at first.
The Griffin fight was followed by a concerning victory over a 44-year-old Mark Coleman, when Rua's cardio appeared to desert him. However, the truth was that knee surgery had taken its toll, as had the difficult adjustment to the shape of the Octagon, problems he corrected before a devastating knockout of Chuck Liddell.
Now the real Shogun was showing himself for the first time and, after being written off ahead of his title shot at then-champion Lyoto Machida, Rua took his compatriot to a decision that many felt should have gone his way. Such was the controversy over Machida's win that Shogun was granted an instant rematch, where he corrected the wrongs of the first bout with a first-round knockout.
More surgery kept Shogun out until 2011, when he was beaten badly by Jon Jones in the first defence of his 205lb title. The Brazilian instantly rebounded by avenging his earlier loss to Griffin in his native homeland.
However, Shogun's most memorable impact on the UFC actually came in defeat, to Dan Henderson, in a fight labelled "one of the top three fights in MMA history" by Dana White. Rua lost by decision, but the legacy of the fight will live long in the memory.
It seems strange to label a defeat to Dan Henderson a "career high", but when Mauricio Shogun Rua retires it will be his loss at UFC 139 that will be most fondly remembered. An MMA and Pride legend for his exploits outside the UFC, Shogun had not yet made his impact on his current employers. That changed in a five-round war, likened to the Thrilla in Manila between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Shogun took a battering, but almost ended up winning in an unbelievable display of heart and courage.
Rarely has a UFC champion been beaten up as badly as Shogun was by Jon Jones. By the time the end arrived, the Brazilian was curled into the foetal position, and then forced to stagger around the Octagon, searching for an escape. A real low in an exceptional career.
"I haven't fought well in the UFC, so I need to show my potential to the American fans, and it all depends on me."
Shogun has vowed never to fight Wanderlei Silva due to their close friendship.
- Cocky Diaz given a beating by champ Henderson (Dec 9, 2012)
- White: Gustafsson v Shogun winner gets title shot (Dec 7, 2012)
- Shogun requested later fight with Jon Jones (Aug 27, 2012)
- Three big fights added to UFC on Fox 5 card (Aug 15, 2012)
Magic Machida earns title shot after Shogun goes deep (Aug 5, 2012)