Phoenix, AZ – MMA is still a sport in its infancy when you compare it to other major sports in the world. We’re now at the point where we get to see living legends in the cage fighting in what will be one of their lasts contests in their career. For UFC light heavyweight Mauricio “Shogun” Rua his bout at UFC 274 on Saturday night will be one of the last opportunities to see him compete in the octagon.
“I still get nervous, as a beginner, as a debut let’s say. At the same time I’m used to dealing with it as it has been part of my career for 20 years. It’s something I’m going to carry on and treasure and remember for as long as I live,” Shogun told reporters through a translator on Wednesday.
Shogun has been fighting professionally for over 20 years starting his career in 2005 and fighting in promotions such as Pride, IFC and UFC. This will be his first bout on the other side of 40-years-old.
“It’s kind of crazy because for many years in Chute Boxe they had a nickname for me. Like Young Bull, Baby Bull. Now I’m one of the oldest guys on the mat in my training so it’s kind of funny, but thank God I’m able to train well. I’m feeling good, I do good sparring so I doesn’t really affect me. I’m enjoying it,” Shogun said.
Shogun faces Ovince Saint Preux in a rematch of their 2014 bout where Rua lost via first round KO. It’s a rematch that Shogun had been offered before, but didn’t think would actually happen.
“Actually we were supposed to fight before. We did the first fight in 2014 and later UFC wanted to do the rematch. We almost fought some years ago, I think it was 2017 in Japan, but I got injured. You never know what’s going to happen. It was something that was there to happen eventually. It’s not going to take place and I’m excited,” Shogun said.
At 40-years-old and with so much wear and tear on his body it’s safe to say that Shogun’s time as an active professional fighter will likely come to an end soon.
“Yeah I already made it up my mind. I want to do two fights. This one and one last one, and then retire. That’s what I put as a goal. Hopefully, maybe who knows, I can both of them this year, and then retire in 2022. But you never know,” Shogun said.
“Either way I want to do two fights, and retire.”
Shogun Rua takes on Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 274 on Saturday, May 7, 2022 at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Check out Rua’s full media day scrum above. More coverage can be found below.