Dana White revealed in his virtual fan Q&A that Shogun Rua retires after his legendary 18-year career. White had expressed his desire for Shogun’s retirement after his loss at the hands of Paul Craig. The Pride FC legend is now thirty-nine years old and coming off of a brutal loss. The loss to Craig, put Shogun Rua on the chopping block in a year of surprising cuts to UFC vets like Yoel Romero, especially with Dana calling for his retirement just months earlier. Given his age, the potential to be cut from the UFC roster, and the legendary resume behind him, Shogun Rua retirement seems well-timed. This decision to retire also ensures that he won’t go out on a stack of losses like many other UFC legends have.
Shogun Rua Retires
A Look Back
Over the course of his eighteen Year professional mixed martial arts career, Shogun gave fans more brutal finishes and jaw-dropping wars than one could ever ask for. For eighteen whole years, he never failed to bring a shocking level of toughness and intensity to the cage and ring. From his Pride Middleweight Grand Prix beat down off Rampage Jackson to his wars with Dan Henderson, no matter the outcome, the former UFC light heavyweight champ always delivered on grit and violence.
Pride Middleweight Grand Prix
In 2005 Shogun would go on an intriguingly violent run through the Pride Middleweight Grand Prix tournament. During this four-fight run, he would stop Rampage Jackson with soccer kicks and defeat Antônio Rogério Nogueira by unanimous decision in the same night. In the latter half of the tournament, Rua would stop Alistair Overeem in the semi-finals, and then Ricardo Arona in the finals to become the Pride FC middleweight champion. It’s worth noting that he stopped both Alistair Overeem and Arona in the first round and on the same night!
After his run in Pride, Shogun would join the Ultimate Fighting Championship and face Forrest Griffin first. Forrest Griffin would win by submission handing the future champ his first UFC loss in his first fight. He would get back on track by avenging his brutal loss to Mark Coleman by TKO. After his assuredly personally satisfying victory over Coleman, Shogun would then make a huge splash in his new promotion by Knocking out former light heavyweight champ, Chuck Liddel in the first round.
UFC Light Heavyweight Title
Shogun would get his first shot at the UFC light heavyweight title after knocking out Chuck Liddel. This shot would come against Lyoto Machida and would see the fight go the full five with Shogun losing a unanimous decision to conclude the bout. He would be granted a rematch and claim victory in the first round by way of punches. The title was his, only until the greatest light heavyweight and possibly fighter of all time would replace Rashad Evans in their scheduled bout. Jones would stop Shogun in the third round and begin his era of domination.
Coming off of losing his title, Shogun would face Forrest Griffin for the second time. After being submitted in the first fight he would avenge his loss and KO Griffin inside of the first two minutes. After his fight with Forrest Griffin, the former champ would go on to take part in one of the most legendary wars in UFC history. Shogun would meet Dan Henderson at UFC 139 and the event would go the full five and be immortalized as one of the most exciting fights in UFC history. Although Rua would lose the bout by unanimous decision his role in the bloodbath has to be equally appreciated.
Thank You Shogun!
Shogun held both the Pride middleweight title and the UFC light heavyweight title during his professional career and is undoubtedly a legend of both the UFC and the beautiful sport of mixed martial arts. He had an eighteen-year professional career, has fought the best of the best, and brutally knocked out a laundry list of UFC and Pride legends. At the age of thirty-nine, Shogun Rua retirement seems like a sounds decision for a legend of the sport, especially considering some of the wars he has been a part of. Shogun Rua retire
With Shogun Rua retirement, will we see other veterans hanging their gloves too?
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