It’s a clean sweep for Mauricio “Shogun” Rua…
The 38-year-old Brazilian professional mixed martial artist defeated his compatriot Antonio Rogerio Nogueira on Saturday in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night in Abu Dhabi, completing a clean sweep in their trilogy of fights.
Rua had previously defeated Nogueira in 2005 on his way to winning a Pride Middleweight Grand Prix. Ten years later, Rua him again once both had made it to the UFC — and after Rua had reigned as light heavyweight champion.
For Nogueira, the split decision defeat in the United Arab Emirates was a final disappointment, as he indicated beforehand it would be the last fight of a professional career that began in 2001.
Asked after the fight, Nogueira addressed the thought that this could be the end.
“I think so. I know I can fight very well,” he said, “but I think it’s time for the new generation to come.”
Nogueira ends his career having scored victories over some elite competition, including Dan Henderson, Rashad Evans, Tito Ortiz and Kazushi Sakuraba. He had wins over Alistair Overeem.
Just not Rua.
Saturday’s bout started out much like the first two meetings — except in slow motion. Nogueira, who came in having lost four of his previous six fights, circled Rua and measured him for left hands. Nogueira finally landed one midway through the first round, and Rua, showing some facial damage, went for a takedown and took the fight to the canvas.
Rua tried to repeat that in the second round but failed on two takedown attempts, but he did get the fight back to the canvas late in Round 3. Along the way, he also punished Nogueira with calf kicks, softening up the lead leg.
Rua did enough to earn 29-28 scores from two judges, while the third had the same score for Nogueira.
Rua, a former UFC light heavyweight champ, has lost only one of his past seven fights.