Last month, former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua returned from a 16-month layoff to headline UFC Fight Night: Hamburg, and was promptly knocked out by short notice replacement Anthony Smith in 89 seconds. It snapped his three-fight winning streak, and likely killed off any hopes he had of getting another title shot.
“Shogun” recently told MMA Fighting that despite that brutal KO, he intends on at least fighting out the remainder of his UFC contract before making any decision on retirement.
“I’m really upset, and I plan on ending this contract with the UFC, I have three more fights, and when it’s over, I’ll take a break and talk to my family and my team and see what I’ll do,” Rua said. “I want to fight as soon as possible. I was talking to Eduardo (Alonso) yesterday about that. I have a goal. I want to fight again this year, maybe December, and then we’ll see what happens.”
Rua clarified that taking a break means that he’ll determine whether or not he’ll continue his career, or finally hang up the gloves after 16 years in professional competition.
The 36-year-old noted that his wife and mother asked that he retire after the Smith fight, but apparently wanting him to stop competing is a regular request.
“Yes. All the time,” Rua said. “They ask for that, but they understand me. Fighting is my work, my career and my passion, so there’s a lot involved. I will stop when I see it really is the right time to stop.”
With his UFC title fight aspirations surely all but gone, Shogun is still looking to fight other top-ranked opponents, as opposed to going the “MMA legend vs. MMA legend” route, but he isn’t ruling that out entirely.
“I think (it’s possible), but not at this moment,” Rua said. “My last fights were against ranked opponents and Anthony Smith is coming with everything, so I always fight the best. I think a time will come that I’ll do more classic fights, but for now, I don’t know, I don’t think so.”