Mixed martial arts legend Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua will make one final walk to the Octagon in 2023.
The former UFC and PRIDE champion will compete for the last time at UFC 283 on January 21st when the promotion returns to his native Brazil. With more than 20 years in combat sports, ‘Shogun’ will finally say goodbye. Meeting him in his final dance will be Ukrainian Contender Series alum, Ihor Potieira. The highly-respected veteran made the announcement in an interview with Combate on Monday.
“I think the bigger pressure is on him – he has to win,” Rua said of Potieria. “Of course, I’m focused on my fight, on winning, but he’s building his career now in the UFC, he just got in, and I’ll be ending [my career].
“It’s definitely my last fight. And I don’t put pressure on me anymore. My obligation is to give my best, and that’s what I think about.”
— Richard Boyd (@Boydie2937) December 8, 2022
‘Shogun’ is Ready to Walk Away After 20+ Years in the Sport
Making his professional debut in late 2002, ‘Shogun’ amassed a record of 27-13-1. He climbed to the top of the mountain at UFC 113, knocking out then-light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida to capture his first UFC title. ‘Shogun’ is best known for legendary battles with Mark Coleman, Chuck Liddell, and Dan Henderson.
“The feeling is that I’m happy with this fight, it will be my farewell bout, and I’m happy it’s in my country, at home,” Rua said. “I’m happy. I’m grateful to the UFC for being one of the pioneers in the UFC. I’m there for 15 years – there’s no one else for that long in the UFC. I’m grateful for everything.
“I’ve been fighting for 20 years, started really early, and have been fighting for many years at the highest level – since 2005 against the best. So I’m a fulfilled man and grateful to God for everything I’ve accomplished in my career. Being that way, that makes me stop at the right time.”
Ihor Potieira earned his way into the UFC with a first-round knockout of Łukasz Sudolski on Dana White’s Contender Series in September 2021. Potieira came up short in his promotional debut, suffering a second-round knockout against Nicolae Negumereanu at UFC 277 in July.
Emanating from the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, UFC 283 is scheduled to be headlined by a light heavyweight title fight between former champion Glover Teixeira and No. 7 ranked Jamahal Hill. In the co-main event, flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo will meet division rival Brandon Morena for the fourth, and presumably final time, with the 125-pound title up for grabs.