Mauricio Milani “Shogun” Rua is a UFC Light Heavyweight who was the division
Champion until his last loss.
Rua is best known for his aggressive fighting style and his
versatility in the ring. He is quick and...he is good!
Born on November 25, 1981 in Curitiba,
Brazil, Rua received his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt under Nino
“Elvis” Schembri and is the winner of the PRIDE Fighting Championship
2005 Middleweight division.
Athletic ability runs in the Rua family. Mauricia's mother ran track and currently competes in marathons.
Mauricio Rua has two brothers that are mixed martial artists, Murilo “Ninja” Rua and Marco “Shaolin” Rua.
Murilo is ranked by Sherdog as the number two light heavyweight fighter in the world.
Rua got an early start in MMA, training in Muay Thai when he was 15 years old and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by age 17.
He excelled in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the Blue and Purple belt level and did not stop there.
went on to follow his brother, Murilo, to the Chute Box Academy which
is located in Curitiba and is known for grooming fighters to be
well-rounded, but extremely aggressive and physical, with focus on
abilities in submissions, punches, kicks and various grappling styles.
Rua also is trained in wrestling and western boxing and incorporates
those skills in the ring along with his other MMA skills.
Coming out strong for his MMA debut, Rua took on Rafael
Caporeira at the Meco World Vale Tudo event in Brazil, on November 8,
2002, knocking Caporeira out in the first round, winning TKO.
He then won against Angelo Antonio in Meco World Vale Tudo 8 in 2003 with a TKO only fifty-five minutes into the first round.
At Meco World Vale Tudo 9, Mauricio Rua went up against Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos who is
Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos' husband.
The fight was fast paced and evenly matched until it went to the ground.
Shogun then delivered a flurry of punches and won TKO 2:31 into the
Rua's fourth win came at the IFC tournament Global Domination 2003
against Erik Wanderley. He won via TKO due to punches to Wanderley's
face in the second round.
He then faced off with Babalu Sobral.
Mauricio Rua was caught in a guillotine. Though he did not give in
easy, eventually he did tap out and lost by submission in the third
Shogun then entered the Pride Fighting
Championship and made his debut at the inaugural Pride Bushido 1 which
was held for lighter weight fighters as a side promotion.
beat three out of three opponents including Akira Shoji, Akihiro Gono
and Yasuhito Namekawa. All were defeated by Rua via strikes in the
been successful in the promotion, Rua debuted to fighting in a main
Pride event at Pride 29: Fists of Fire on February 20, 2005 in Saitama,
He faced off with Kanehara Hiromitsu Kanehara, a former
professional wrestler. Early in round one Mauricio Rua won by TKO
Pride Total Elimination
then entered Pride Total Elimination 2005 on April 23, 2005 in Japan
where he fought Quinton Jackson who had defeated Mauricia's brother,
Murilo, in a controversial fight at Pride 29.
took charge of the fight with soccer kicks to Jackson's face in the
first round winning via TKO. Jackson later commented that Rua was the
best fighter he had ever fought.
Critical Countdown 2005 was next on Rua's list where he faced off with
Antonio Regerio Noguerira, a member of Chute Boxe's rival academy, the
Brazilian Top Team.
Five minutes into the third round, Mauricio Rua won via unanimous decision.
Final Conflict 2005 was held on August 28, 2005. It was a Middleweight
Grand Prix tournament that Rua went in as a heavyunderdog.
last two rounds of the tournament were held on the same night. Mauricio
Rua took on Alistair Overeem and defeated him in the first round.
Then he went up against Ricardo Arona who had just defeated his
teammate, Wanderlei Silva. It took Rua only two minutes and fifty-four
seconds to defeat Silva by Knock Out.
What Sherdog has to Say
Following the victory, Sherdog.com awarded Mauricio Rua the Fighter of the Year award for 2005.
glory would not last, however. Mauricio Rua found himself on the
loosing end of a bout with the Pride Grand Prix 2000 Champion,
heavyweight wrestler Mark Coleman at Pride: Unbreakable which took place
In the battle, Coleman managed a takedown and Rua dislocated his elbow. Coleman won TKO.
Shogun would not be kept down. On September 10, 2006, Mauricio
returned to the octagon against the French kickboxer Cyrille Diabate.
Diabate was a well known striker, but Rua went in prepared and won TKO due to stomps.
UFC Heavyweight Champion Kevin Randleman was Rua's next opponent at
Pride 32: The Real Deal which took place in Las Vegas, Nevada on October
Two minutes and thirty-five seconds into the first round, Rua won via a kneebar.
Last Pride Fight
Just two months later Rua fought Kazuhiro Nakamura at Pride Shockwave 2006 and won by unanimous decision.
came a rematch with Alistair Overeem at Pride 33 on February 24, 2007
which would be Mauricia's last fight with the Pride organization. Rua
reigned victorious with a TKO in the first round.
journey in Pride had been a successful one. He was ranked the top light
heavyweight in the world by Nokaut, Sherdog.com, MMAWeekly.com and
The Ultimate Fighting
Championship (UFC) purchased Pride and Rua signed on with the new
organization. Rua debuted at UFC 76: Knockout on September 22, 2007 in
Mauricia Rua faced off with The Ultimate Fighter 1
winner Forrest Griffin. Although Rua went into the fight favored to
win, he did not fare so well.
Griffin's size played a factor as he was considerably larger than Rua but he also wore Mauricia down cardiovascularly as well.
Rua was finally overcome by a rear naked choke at the end of the third round and Griffin was declared the winner.
the fight, Rua had knee surgery on an injury he suffered training for
the fight against Griffin and re-injured during the fight.
also left Chute Boxe in January and opened his own training camp with
his brother Murilo in Curitiba, Brazil which is named Universidade da
Although Rua was scheduled to fight in UFC 85, his surgery
prevented it but was allowed to rematch Mark Coleman instead at UFC 93
in Dublin, Ireland.
Rua won the fight without effort by TKO 4:36 in the third round.
He won co-Fight of the Night awards, but was also criticized for poor
performance against Coleman who was 44 years old and had been out of
competition for over two years.
But if Rua's fans were disappointed with the Coleman fight, they were more than compensated by his next go round.
fight took place in Montreal, Canada at UFC 97 against UFC Light
Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell. Shogun was ready for the fight and
proved it with a left hook followed up by hammer fists and won TKO in
the first round.
The win against Liddell meant he had a shot at the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
Up against Lyoto Machida at UFC 104 on October 24, 2009, Rua lost five minutes into the fifth round by unanimous decision.
The outcome was very controversial and even UFC President Dana White assessed that he believed Rua won the fight.
was not alone as professional fighters Quinton Jackson, Thiago Silva,
Jon Jones, Wanderlei Silva, Vitor Belfot, Antonio Silva and Rashad Evans
at UFC 113.
A much anticipated rematch took place on May 8, 2010
at UFC 113 in Montreal, Quebec. It took Rua only three minutes and
thirty-five seconds to land a knock out and win the bout, handsdown.
Along with winning the fight, he won the title as well.
Shogun was due to fight Rashad Evans for his first title defense but was placed against
Jon "Bones" Jones instead due to Evan's knee injury.
The two squared off at UFC 128 on March 19, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. Evans came out with a flying right knee to
the head which, Rua later admitted threw off his whole game. In total, Jon landed 87 strikes. It was a
left punch followed up by a knee to the body that ended the fight in the third round. Jon Jones was the new
Light Heavyweight Champion.
On August 27 at UFC 134 in Japan, Rua will rematch with Forrest Griffin
in a much anticipated bout that will settle the score between
the two whose last fight was controversial at best. Neither Rua nor Griffin have lost in a rematch.
Prior to his MMA career, Rua worked in Brazil doing pictures, books and even as a model. He is married to Renata Riberiro, a physiotherapist. On January 15, 2010 they had a daughter named Maria Eduarda.