UFC Sao Paulo: “Shogun” Rua Reports Tonight Could Mark Final Fight of Career

"Shogun" Rua will battle Paul Craig tonight at UFC Sao Paulo, and the legendary fighter says he may not battle in the Octagon again.

After fighting professionally for over 15 years, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua’s career is near it’s end. In fact, the legendary fighter is reporting that his bout tonight with Paul Craig could be his last.

Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

Rua vs. Craig

Rua is scheduled to face Craig in the co-main event of UFC Sao Paulo, which will be hosted by the city’s Ginasio do Ibirapuera. The fight will mark the first time the 27-year-old Rua (26-11) has fought since he took out Tyson Pedro last December.

The 31-year-old Craig (12-4), meanwhile, fought in September and quickly submitted Vinicius Moreira Castro.

Rua’s pending retirement

Due to Rua’s age, and because he’s been fighting for so long, talk about when the Brazilian star will retire is not really new. But, while speaking with MMA Fighting recently, the former light-heavyweight champ reported the following:

“My wife and my mom are rough,” Rua said. “I have two fights left. It’s true now.”

“I face every fight I have as if it were my last,” he said. “I don’t know if there’s going to be another one after Paul Craig, so this is how I see it right now.”

“People keep asking me why I don’t stop fighting,” Rua said. “I’ll stop when I want to stop. I’m the only athlete to win the UFC and PRIDE titles. I’m in the UFC Hall of Fame, and I’m financially set, so I’ll stop when I want to stop.”

Fair enough. Now, reading between the lines here, you really have to wonder if Rua will hang up the gloves, if Craig defeats him tonight. Especially if Rua suffers a one-sided loss.

If you’re wondering, Rua is a fair-sized favorite to beat the Scottish fighter, as “Shogun” is carrying odds in the range of -245 to -278.

UFC Sao Paulo line-up

Here is the line-up for tonight’s event.

UFC Fight Night 164 Main Card on ESPN+ (8 p.m. ET):

205 lbs.: Jan Blachowicz vs. Ronaldo Souza
205 lbs.: Mauricio Rua vs. Paul Craig
155 lbs.: Jared Gordon vs. Charles Oliveira
185 lbs.: Antonio Arroyo vs. Andre Muniz
185 lbs.: Markus Perez vs. Wellington Turman

UFC Fight Night 164 “Prelims” Under Card on ESPN+ (5 p.m. ET):

170 lbs.: James Krause vs. Sergio Moraes
145 lbs.: Eduardo Garagorri vs. Ricardo Ramos
155 lbs.: Bobby Green vs. Francisco Trinaldo
170 lbs.: Warlley Alves vs. Randy Brown
145 lbs.: Renan Barao vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade
125 lbs.: Ariane Lipski vs. Isabella de Padua
135 lbs.: Tracy Cortez vs. Vanessa Melo

*Fight card, bout order and the amount of matches subject to change.

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