Former UFC and PRIDE champion Mauricio Rua says he will walk away from the sport following his UFC bout with Ihor Potieria on Jan. 21, the Brazilian veteran announced Monday in an interview with Combate.
Rua, who has only fight left in his contract with the UFC, looks to end to his 20-year MMA career on a win after suffering defeats to Paul Craig and Ovince Saint Preux in his most recent octagon appearances. “Shogun” is 5-3-1 since 2015.
“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.”
Unlike other veterans who have chosen to transition from MMA to boxing, Rua said he will not compete in other forms of martial arts when retired.
The 41-year-old talent enters the UFC cage for the final time with an overall record of 27-13-1. He holds wins over the likes of Quinton Jackson, Alistair Overeem (twice), Ricardo Arona, Kevin Randleman, Chuck Liddell, Lyoto Machida, Corey Anderson and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (three times).
“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.”
UFC 283 takes place at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro. The pay-per-view event will be headlined by Glover Teixeira vs. Jamahal Hill for the vacant light heavyweight crown, plus Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno 4 for the undisputed flyweight championship.