As the old adage goes, “All good things must come to an end.” In the sporting world, rarely does the end come with an athlete leaving on the top of his game while hoisting the championship trophy.
In fact, it typically ends too late with a past-his-prime athlete getting dragged from their sanctuary while kicking and screaming for just one more go.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (pictured) is staring that fate dead in the eyes. Prior to joining the UFC in 2007, Rua was considered as one of the world’s best 205-pounders, perhaps even the top dog.
While he did hold the UFC light heavyweight title for a hot minute, things haven’t quite panned out for the legendary Brazilian in the big leagues – particularly of late.
Rua has gone just 6-8 in the UFC. He has dropped four of his last five fights, including two straight. Three of his losses during this current skid have come via finish.
While 33 might be considered the tail-end of an athlete’s prime in other sports, Rua is an old 33 given the wars he’s been through during his decorated MMA career.
Rua faces Antonio Rogerio Nogueira Saturday at UFC 190, and while he hasn’t admitted it publicly, the scrap is essentially a must-win. Little Nog is 39 and hasn’t been seen since getting put to sleep by Anthony Johnson last July. If Shogun can’t blast Nogueira, then it’s clear he’s got nothing left in the chamber.