Mauricio Shogun Rua may not be in the best of form at the moment, in fact he is without a win in his last two fights and is 2-4 in his last three years of competition. The former Pride FC Middleweight GP Champion crossed over to the UFC in 2007, sporting a 16-2 record and was widely considered championship material.
Although Rua would eventually go on to beat Lyoto Machida for the 205lb. belt at UFC 113, his reign was marred by a year long injury layoff, followed by a crushing loss to the current boss Jon Jones at UFC 128.
Since then, Rua has dropped a close decision loss to Dan Henderson, a whooping to Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on Fox in December ’12, and was recently submitted in one by Chael Sonnen on the UFC’s August trip to Boston. Rua’s only two wins since being dethroned as champion are against Brandon Vera and Forrest Griffin.
Many have spoke about Shogun’s retirement, especially considering the unnecessary amount of damage that Ninja Rua took before finally calling it quits. Shogun’s younger brother suffered some brutal TKO losses in the twilight of his career, often proving too gutsy to call it quits and becoming a bit of a walkover. It was a very sad scene, one that I hope doesn’t repeat itself.
Shogun feels he has plenty more left in him though, as he speaks with MMA Interviews to outline his future plans:
"I'm 31 years old. I am very young. I want to fight for six or seven more years. I have 10 fights more. I fight whoever UFC wants, I fight anywhere, no problem for me. [Henderson] fight everybody wants. Me too. Dan Henderson good fighter. I respect him. I fight for my fans, my family and for UFC."
As much as I am a huge Shogun fan, I really don’t like seeing my favorite legends take an excess of punishment in competition. It happened to Chuck Lidell, randy Couture, Jens Pulver, and is currently happening to guys like Rua, Junior Dos Santos and many others.
The fight against Dan Henderson was nothing short of amazing, but may also prove costly in the latter stages of both legend's careers. They fight on with unfading courage, but eventually something has to give, and I suspect that the physical will fall before bravery.
The fact is you won’t take the heart of a fighter without a big knife, and Rua isn’t about to call it quits just yet. I would love to see him get back to his former glory, but will it prove one fight too many when he faces James Te Huna at UFC Fight Night 33? Let's hope he comes in strong.