Meca World Vale Tudo, IFC, PRIDE, UFC
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 205 lb (93 kg; 14.6 st)
Born November 25, 1981 (1981-11-25) (age 27)
Fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil
Town of birth Curitiba, Brazil
Team/Association Universidade da luta
Fighting style Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout 13
By submission 1
No contests 0
Mauricio Milani "Shogun" Rua was born on November 25, 1981 in Curitiba, Brazil. Rua is a mixed martial arts fighter, and the winner of the PRIDE Fighting Championships' 2005 Middleweight (205lb) Grand Prix. He is known for his aggressive fighting style and for his extreme versatility. He has received a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from Nino Schembri. Mauricio is the younger brother of Murilo "Ninja" Rua.
Rua was born on November 25, 1981 in Curitiba, Brazil. His family also lives in Curitiba. His father is a successful businessman that runs his own business. His mother was a track athlete and is currently a marathon runner. The Rua brothers also run marathons sometimes. He has two brothers, his older brother, Murilo (born 1980) and his younger brother, Marco "Shaolin" Rua. Marco is also a mixed martial artist and is currently training at Chute Boxe, though not at a professional level like his older brothers.
On September 1, 2007, Rua married physiotherapist Renata Ribeiro.
Martial arts background
Rua began training martial arts with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the age of six and Muay Thai at seven, at which he became 10-0. He was very successful in BJJ championships at the Blue and Purple belt level. Rua followed his older brother's footsteps after Murilo started training in Muay Thai with the Chute Boxe Academy. In addition to Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he also currently trains in wrestling and western boxing.
Meca World Vale Tudo
Rua started his career at the Meca World Vale Tudo event in Brazil. On his debut, Rua fought Rafael Capoeira, knocking him out with a head kick in the first round. At Meca World Vale Tudo 9, Shogun fought and beat now former teammate Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos. The fight was very fast paced as "Cyborg" was matching Rua on the feet. This resulted in Rua taking Santos out of his game by taking the fight to the ground where he would eventually stop him after raining down punches from mount.
Rua's first loss came at the hands of Renato "Babalu" Sobral during the IFC tournament "Global Domination" on September 6, 2003 by submission (guillotine choke). Though the fight was very even, Rua was caught in a guillotine in the third round. "Babalu" had to fight for nearly two minutes in order to adjust the guillotine and get "Shogun" to tap out. Earlier that night, "Shogun" showed great ground skills escaping submission after submission attempt from Eric Wanderlei. Early in the second round, Rua knocked Wanderlei out with punches to the face.
PRIDE Fighting Championship
Rua exhibited a great ground game in his early fights in PRIDE, but defeated his first five opponents in the first rounds with punches, stomps, and soccer kicks. Rua moved on from his PRIDE Bushido fights to the larger PRIDE 29 with his match against Hiromitsu Kanehara, going in referred to by the commentators as the "heir apparent" to famed teammate Wanderlei Silva. He won with soccer kicks and stomps to the face at 1:40 in the first round, with the commentators noting that even famed 225 lb (102 kg). striker Mirko Filipović wasn't able to take out Kanehara in a full fight.
Rua then entered the PRIDE 2005 205 lb. Grand Prix tournament as a heavy underdog. His first opponent would be Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, whom he had challenged after Jackson won a controversial split decision over his brother, Murilo "Ninja" Rua, at the previous PRIDE event, PRIDE 29. Jackson had been the runner-up in the PRIDE 2003 205 lb. Grand Prix, but Mauricio dominated the favored fighter from beginning to end, breaking Jackson's ribs with knee strikes and ending the fight in dramatic fashion with soccer kicks to the face in the first round. Jackson has stated that Rua is the best fighter he has ever fought.
Rua's next fight in the tournament would be against rival academy Brazilian Top Team member Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Rua was able to edge out a unanimous decision against Nogueira. On August 28, 2005, "Shogun" cemented his place in MMA history when he won the 2005 Grand Prix tournament by defeating Alistair Overeem and Ricardo Arona, both by TKO in the first round.
Rua came back at PRIDE 31 where he suffered his second loss, now at the hands of heavyweight Mark Coleman. The fight was stopped when Rua dislocated his elbow following a takedown by Coleman in which he landed awkwardly. Rua has repeatedly expressed interest in a rematch with Coleman.
After the elbow injury, Rua returned to the ring on September 10, 2006 to face French striker Cyrille Diabate. Rua defeated Diabate via TKO (stomps). On October 21, 2006, Rua defeated former UFC champion Kevin Randleman with a kneebar two minutes into the first round.
On December 31, 2006, at PRIDE Shockwave 2006, Rua defeated Kazuhiro Nakamura by unanimous decision after out-grappling the judoka. His last fight was a knockout victory at PRIDE 33 in a rematch against Dutchman Alistair Overeem.
By the end of his run at PRIDE, Rua was ranked as the top light heavyweight in the world by Nokaut, Sherdog.com, www.fighting-mma.com and MMAWeekly.com
Ultimate Fighting Championship
After the sale of PRIDE FC, Rua signed a lucrative deal with the UFC and made his debut for the organization at UFC 76 on September 22, 2007.
In his UFC debut, Rua took on The Ultimate Fighter 1 winner Forrest Griffin. Widely regarded as the best light heavyweight in the world, Shogun was considered a heavy favorite to win. Rua and Griffin battled in a close fight, with Rua having trouble with the larger Griffin. However, after Rua became exhausted during the second round, he was unable to keep pace against Griffin and repeatedly gave up his back while scrambling on the ground. With only 15 seconds remaining in the fight Griffin locked in a rear naked choke, forcing Rua to tap out. Some blame his poor cardiovascular fitness on the fact that Rua suffered a knee injury during training for the fight, re-injured himself during the fight, and had elective surgery afterwards.
Both Mauricio and his brother Murilo left Chute Boxe in January 2008 with plans to open up their own facility in Massachusetts. The Ruas' new camp was named Universidade da luta which translates to "University of Fighting" (or just "UDL") and instead was opened in the Ruas' hometown of Curitiba, Brazil.
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua suffered a ruptured ACL during training, the same injury he is rumored to have suffered in 2007 during training for his bout against Forrest Griffin. He was then scheduled to have surgery and could not participate in UFC 85. Rashad Evans had been announced as Rua's replacement, however Chuck Liddell then injured his hamstring leaving the bout undecided. Shortly after, a bout between welterweights Matt Hughes and Thiago Alves was set to headline the event. Rua has said he still expects to fight Liddell later this year. He has been medically cleared to regularly train again by October or November. Shogun has been granted a rematch with Mark Coleman at UFC 93 in Dublin, Ireland.