Former UFC champ Mauricio Rua is not making an immediate retirement decision after UFC 255, but it appears he’s willing to at least lean into Dana White’s advice after Saturday’s loss to Paul Craig.
Rua (27-12-1 MMA, 11-10-1 UFC), a former UFC light heavyweight champion, UFC Hall of Fame inductee and PRIDE FC grand prix winner, succumbed to a second-round TKO in his rematch with Craig (14-4-1 MMA, 6-4-1 UFC) at UFC Apex in Las Vegas. “Shogun” looked rather flat in the fight, and was unable to stop takedowns to the point he got trapped in rear mount and pounded on until he tapped out to strikes.
UFC president Dana White gave a blunt post-fight assessment of the Brazilian, saying Rua looked “a shell of his former self” and that he would like him to retire from MMA.
Rua has been discussing the possibility of retirement for some time, but always said he would determine his decision on a fight-by-fight basis. It appears he’s going to give it a serious discussion after UFC 255, even if he knows his performance was compromised by an elbow injury sustained in the opening moments of his bout (via Instagram):
Unfortunately things didn’t go out the way I would have liked last night , and this is a part of our sport. I suffered an injury to my elbow on the first time I was taken down, but this serves as no excuse, as it is part of fighting and it doesn’t take way any merits from my opponent.
An athletes’ career is not only made of glory and thank God I was already blessed many times with the reward of victory, due to a lot of sacrifices and effort, that only those who live our everyday routine really knows what we go trough.
I want to thank all the amazing support from you guys, as always. I’m blessed for being able to do this for 18 years already, and here in 2020 you guys are the great motivation I carry with me, and that it makes me continue this far. Now I’m going to rest with my family, and think about my career. I know that my mission in this sport goes way beyond the octagon as well. Thanks a lot guys .
Rua has been an active fighter since his MMA debut in November 2002. He’s shared the ring and octagon with too many all-time greats to mention over the course of his career, and has put together a career most could only dream of.
White said following UFC 255 that Rua still has two fights remaining on his current UFC contract. If Rua insists he wants to continue his career, the UFC will have to make a decision of whether to offer him those fights, or release him from the deal similar to what just happened with fellow former champ Anderson Silva.