If Mauricio “Shogun” Rua loses at UFC Fight Night 33, Dana White will probably ask the former light heavyweight champion to retire from MMA, according to comments he made on Wednesday night’s episode of FOX Sports Live.
Multiple knee surgeries have really taken a toll on Shogun, who hasn’t been able to put together more than two straight wins since his former Pride days. Despite winning the UFC title in 2009, he has remained relatively inconsistent in the Octagon.
Long gone are the days when Shogun was considered to be the most feared light heavyweight on the planet. Now he is getting stopped in the first round by fighters who normally tip the scales at middleweight.
On Friday night, Shogun faces light heavyweight hopeful James Te Huna in a bout that represents the biggest crossroads thus far in his legendary career.
A win should quell all of the retirement talk for the time being and help Shogun rebound from consecutive losses to Chael Sonnen and Alexander Gustafsson. A loss, however, could signal the end to one of the greatest careers in MMA history.
When speaking with Fox Sports Live, the UFC president said that he would “probably” have the retirement talk with Shogun if he loses his next fight:
Obviously for Shogun Rua, to be in this position right now fighting a guy like Te-Huna, this is the fight of Te-Huna’s life, said White. Te-Huna wins this fight, it catapults him into the top-10, everybody knows his name, and everybody’s going to want to see what’s next for him. Yes, if Shogun loses this fight, I probably would have [the retirement] conversation with him.
A loss to Te-Huna would be a major step back for Shogun, who would be ousted from the Top 10 for the first time in nearly a decade. It would be a strange world knowing Shogun was no longer one of the best light heavyweights in MMA.
Would a third consecutive loss signal the swan song to the 32-year-old legend’s career?