Mauricio Rua is a battle tested mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran. He has had 34 professional fights and amassed a record that currently stands at 24-10. “Shogun” won the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight title along the way.
Now at the age of 35, fans are wondering when Rua will decide to hang up his gloves. While “Shogun” has achieved great success in his career, he has also been finished seven times. He hasn’t looked stellar in his last two wins either.
MMAJunkie.com reached out to Rua recently. The former champion said he doesn’t feel comfortable talking about retirement:
“The subject bothers me a little. Because I’m experienced – I’ve been fighting for many years – but I’m also a young guy. I’m 35. People stop at 40, 38, 39. Depends. I think every athlete has the liberty to stop whenever they want.”
While there are many long-term health implications that come with fighting, Rua has compared it to any other occupation. He said a few bad outings doesn’t mean he should stop doing what he loves.
“People speculate that a lot about me because I’ve had a few losses, but everyone has losses. So if a doctor doesn’t perform a perfect surgery, they need to retire? If a dentist doesn’t perfectly extract a tooth, they need to retire? A businesswoman goes into a meeting and it’s not successful, she needs to retire? If I’m happy to be fighting, and the UFC is happy to have me fighting for them, I don’t know why people are so bothered by it.”
Rua will meet Gian Villante inside the Centro de Formação Olímpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza, Brazil. The event will take place on March 11. The event’s headliner will be a middleweight bout between former light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort and The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 17 middleweight winner Kelvin Gastelum.