5 Things You Need To Know About Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua

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Mauricio Rua was for a time the premier light heavyweight in mixed martial arts. Now 36, he retains some of his past potency, but the miles on the odometer have begun to accumulate.

The former Ultimate Fighting Championship titleholder will carry a three-fight winning streak into his battle with Anthony Smith in the UFC Fight Night 134 main event this Sunday at Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany. Rua owns one of the sport’s most enduring resumes, though injuries have interrupted his career at various points since he was at the height of his power. “Shogun” last competed at UFC Fight Night 106 on March 11, 2017, when he cut down Gian Villante with a head kick and follow-up punches.

As Rua approaches his five-round clash with Smith, here are five things you might not know about him:

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1. He built his legacy against quality opposition.

Rua has defeated six former UFC champions: Quinton Jackson, Kevin Randleman, Mark Coleman, Chuck Liddell, Lyoto Machida and Forrest Griffin. He finished all six by knockout, technical knockout or submission.

2. Activity has been an issue.

Once one of the more prolific fighters in MMA, Rua has not fought more than twice in a calendar year since 2011. He has made just one appearance in the cage in each of the last three years.

3. He put together one of the most remarkable tournament runs in MMA history.

Rua won the star-studded 2005 Pride Fighting Championships middleweight grand prix, defeating Jackson, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Alistair Overeem and Ricardo Arona in the span of four months. Those four men own a combined record of 116-43.

4. He has been a combat sports globetrotter.

Rua has fought in six different countries as a professional mixed martial artist. They are Brazil, Australia, the United States, Canada, Ireland and Japan. Germany will be the seventh.

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5. Fighting runs in his blood.

“Shogun” has an older brother who also enjoyed a successful career in mixed martial arts. Murilo Rua compiled a 20-13-1 record as a pro and captured the inaugural EliteXC middleweight championship in 2007. “Ninja” retired following a 47-second technical knockout loss to Paulo Filho in September 2012.

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