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Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua of Brazil celebrates after his victory over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira of Brazil in their light heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 26, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Mauricio Rua: One More Walk

Mauricio Rua Will Close Out His Career Against Ihor Potieria At UFC 283: Teixeira vs Hill in Brazil

May 8, 2010, marked the greatest night in the illustrious career of UFC Hall of Famer Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

The stage was set at UFC 113 in Montreal, Canada, where Rua stepped in the Octagon to face light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. The two met six months prior, where Machida edged out a controversial decision victory over his fellow Brazilian. This time around, things went drastically different.

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Rua, now having already spent 25 minutes with the champion, executed his gameplan to perfection to exact his revenge late in the first round. Capitalizing on a knockdown, Rua dropped into Machida’s guard and landed vicious ground-and-pound strikes until earning the knockout victory.

“If I had to choose a moment in the UFC, I’d choose when I became a UFC world champion in 2010,” Rua said. “That was definitely my best moment.

“I think every victory is important, but if I had to choose one or two highlights, I’d say it was when I got the world title, and the fight with Dan Henderson that got me into the Hall of Fame.”

Shogun Rua Fight Week Interview | UFC 283
Shogun Rua Fight Week Interview | UFC 283

At UFC 283: Teixeira vs Hill on January 21, Rua will close the chapter on his mixed martial arts journey when he competes in his final professional bout against Ihor Potieria in Rio de Janeiro.

“I started in Brazil and I’m from Brazil, so it will be great to end my career here,” Rua said. “It will be the cherry on top to fight in Brazil… that’s just perfect.”

On one end of the Octagon will be a 20-year veteran and former champion. Across from him will be the 26-year-old Potieira, with only one UFC fight to his name. Despite losing his debut back in July to Nicolae Negumereanu, the Ukrainian boasts an impressive 18-3 record and intends on spoiling Rua’s big moment.

Fight By Fight Preview | UFC 283: Teixeira vs Hill

“Shogun” has worked tirelessly in preparation for his upcoming bout to not let that happen.

“We’ve studied my opponent and trained a lot,” Rua said. "I hope to impose my game on Saturday and get the win.”

Shogun Rua of Brazil punches Ovince Saint Preux in a light heavyweight fight during the UFC 274 event at Footprint Center on May 07, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Forty-one fights into his career, you’d expect Rua to have seen at all. At UFC 283, however, Rua anticipates the same difficulties he’s faced throughout his career when challenging a new opponent. In an always evolving sport, there’s always room to learn, and Rua believes he’s still evolving as a fighter, even if this is the last fight he has to show it.

“I think so,” Rua said when asked if he felt he was still evolving two decades into his professional career. “The sport of MMA is a new sport. It’s always evolving and changing. I’ve certainly learned a lot from this sport over these 21 years.”

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What Rua expects to happen and hopes to happen on Saturday night may be different things, but he does have one specific goal in mind on how he can cap off his career in front of his hometown crowd.

“He’s a young guy, so he has youth on his side,” Rua said of his UFC 283 opponent. “He’s good at Muay Thai and he likes to use it. He looks to strike. And those who know me know I also like to strike. So, I think striking is inevitable in this fight.

“The perfect performance is to end my career with a KO win.”

Shogun Rua | Greatest Hits
Shogun Rua | Greatest Hits

No matter the result on Saturday night, there’s no doubt it will be the last time fans see him compete in the Octagon. Hoping to recover from the various injuries he’s picked up over the years, Rua intends on taking some time away from training to devote time to his family. What comes after that is up for speculation.

“I already have some ongoing projects that I take care of,” said Rua, discussing his plans for life after fighting. “When I retire, I will want to take care of my health. I have some injuries, so I want to take care of that and train just as a sport. And also, to take care of my family.

“I don’t plan on being a coach or a manager but being involved in fighting is inevitable. For sure, I’ll be involved in the sport.”

UFC 283: Teixeira vs Hill

UFC 283: Teixeira vs Hill took place live from Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on January 21, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass