Once upon a time, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua was one of the most feared light heavyweight mixed martial artists in the world.
During his nearly three and a half year stint in Pride, the Chute Boxe prodigy won twelve of his thirteen fights. When the UFC bought Pride in 2007, Shogun was one of the many fighters to make the switch over to the UFC. Since then, he’s only won five of his last eleven fights; a major downgrade compared to his Pride record.
Heading into his fight against James Te Huna tomorrow at UFC Fight Night 33, for the first time in his career, Shogun is on a two-fight losing streak. Everyone knows there’s a lot of pressure on any fighter in the UFC once they’ve lost two in a row. As for Shogun, he’s no exception.
In a recent interview with FOX Sports Live, UFC President Dana White said that if Shogun loses his next fight, the thirty-two year old Brazilian might have to retire.
“If Te-Huna wins this fight, it catapults him into the top-10, everybody knows his name, and everybody’s going to want to see what’s next for him. Yes, if Shogun loses this fight, I probably would have [the retirement] conversation with him.”
Shogun has recently said in interviews that he might make a move down to middleweight. When asked if he would allow him to do so, White didn’t rule out the possibility.
“It’s not a bad idea. If he lost this fight, I would be interested in giving him a run at eighty-five.”
With this fight against Te Huna, Shogun’s career has hit the crossroads. If he wins, he maintains his status as a UFC fighter. If he loses, it could possibly be the last time we see him in the octagon.