If you are an active MMA fan, or combat sports fan for that matter, I’m sure you’ve heard or said to yourself “Man he knocked out a ton of people.” Well that got me wondering… who has literally knocked out a ton of people by weight (2000 lbs.)?
This week will mark our first two ton fighter, Mauricio “Shogun” Milani Rua 25-10 MMA. Rua was born on November 25, 1981 in Curitiba, Brazil. Sources vary widely with some saying he began his martial arts training in Muay Thai at 15 years old and picked up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu when he was 17 years old. Although some think he started much younger at 6 to 7 years old.
Some of Rua’s family are also involved in sports. His younger brother Marcos “Shaolin” and most well-known, his older brother, Murilo “Ninja” Rua train in MMA. Ninja Rua last competed in MMA back in 2012 where he lost to Paulo Filho. His Mother, a former track competitor, also runs with the Brothers.
Rua began his pro career on November 8, 2002 less than a month before his twenty-first birthday. He would KO Rafael Freitas at Meca 7 just four minutes into the first round. Rua would compete twice more for Meca with two more first round stoppages. Angelo Antonio de Oliveira and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos would both fall to the newcomer.
Shogun would then compete twice in one night for IFC in September 2003. Stamping his fourth consecutive stoppage over Erick Wanderley before being submitted by Renato “Babalu” Sobral via guillotine. This would be the first loss of his pro career.
He would rebound from the loss the very next month at Pride: Bushido 1. Stopping Akira Mr. Pride” Shoji by KO in the first round. Rua would then run his winning streak to eight straight under the Pride banner over the following two years. Seven of those eight would end in KO/TKO all in the first round. The last two being over Alistair “The Reem” Overeem and Ricardo “The Brazilian Tiger” Arona at the Pride Grand Prix during Final Conflict 2005.
Then in February 2006 he would face Mark “The Hammer” Coleman at Pride 31. During the bout Coleman would go for a takedown and, while landing, Rua would snap his right arm. Coleman didn’t notice the injury and jumped on Rua. After the ref jumped in to stop it, Coleman kept swinging and then tossed the ref off and took an aggressive posture toward Rua. That’s when chaos ensued in the ring. Ninja Rua, Wanderlei Silva, Phil Baroni, several security members and others were involved in an all out brawl. Even Coleman’s Father was in the ring.
Afterwards, in the hallways, Coleman tried to apologize for his actions saying “Heat of the moment. Heat of the moment”. Neither Ninja Rua or Wand were interested in hearing it. Wand accusing Coleman of kicking him in the face while he was down during the melee.
Rua would return from the loss and injury seven months later to face Cyrille “The Snake” Diabate at Pride Final Conflict Absolute. Stopping the bout in the first round with stomps and securing his twelfth KO/TKO victory. Three more bouts with Pride and three more victories would put him under the UFC banner after the purchase of Pride.
After all his hard work and all those battles in Pride, Rua would taste defeat once again in his UFC debut. In the co-main event of UFC 76, Rua would face Ultimate Fighter 1 winner Forrest Griffin. With only fifteen seconds left in the final round, Griffin sunk in a rear-naked-choke and ended the bout. Rua was set to face Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell at UFC 85 but a knee injury would force Rua out of the bout.
After Rua recovered from the knee injury he would get his rematch with Mark Coleman. The epic bout would take place at UFC 93 almost 3 years after their first meeting. This time it would last much longer than the forty-nine seconds that the first match did. A great battle between both warriors that lasted 14:36. Rua would get his revenge on his old foe in the final thirty seconds of the fight scoring the TKO victory.
Now Rua was set back up to face former light-heavyweight champ Chuck Liddell at UFC 97. Rua would again have an impressive showing stopping the former champ in the first round via TKO. This earned Rua his first shot at UFC gold. He would face light-heavyweight champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida 6 months later at UFC 104.
The pair would battle for five full rounds with Machida scoring the unanimous decision win in his first title defense. The bout was a war and close enough for the pair to immediately rematch 7 months later at UFC 113. In the second bout, Rua would leave no doubt who the victor was. He would close the fight at just 3:35 of the very first round. Avenging his loss and taking the strap from Machida, now the UFC light-heavyweight champion, in his fifth showing for the promotion.
Rua’s first title defense was set for former light-heavyweight champ Rashad “Sugar” Evans at UFC 128. However Evans was pulled due to a knee injury and his young teammate Jon “Bones” Jones was given the main event slot. Rua would fall to Jones, via TKO, in the third round of his first title defense.
Five months later Rua would rematch Forrest Griffin in the co-main event of UFC 134. The bout was drastically different from their first with Rua scoring a first round KO in less than two minutes. Leaving only Sobral and Jones as the only unavenged losses of his career up to this point.
Less than three months later Rua would take on former Pride middle and light-heavyweight champ Dan “Hendo” Henderson in the main event of UFC 139. Henderson returning to the UFC after a successful stint in Strikeforce before their eventual purchase by the UFC as well. After five full rounds of battle, Henderson took the unanimous decision victory handing Rua his sixth career loss.
He would rebound with a victory over Brandon “The Truth” Vera at UFC on FOX 4, before loosing two in a row (for the first time in his career) to Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson and Chael Sonnen. Gustafsson getting the unanimous decision and Sonnen landing the first round guillotine with only thirteen seconds left in the round.
After picking up a KO over James Te Huna at 1:03 of the first round at UFC Fight Night 33, Rua would earn a rematch with Dan Henderson. Just shy of four months later at UFC Fight Night 38, Henderson would again defeat Rua this time via TKO in the third.
Rua would lose once more eight months later at UFC Fight Night 56. This time to Ovince “OSP” St. Preux in just thirty-four seconds of their five round main event bout by KO. St. Preux was replacing injured Jimi “Poster Boy” Manuwa.
After a unanimous decision victory over Antonio Rogerio “Minotouro” Nogueira nine months later at UFC 190, Rua was again scheduled to face Rashad Evans. This time Rua would be the one who had to pull out of their UFC on FOX bout due to injury. Although the very next month he would face Corey “Overtime” Anderson at UFC 198. Rua would get the split decision win in his first non co-main/main event bout for the promotion.
In March of this year, Rua would pick up his third straight victory (his 1st 3-fight streak since 2007) over Gian Villante at UFC Fight Night 106 via third round TKO. This earning him a rematch with Ovince St. Preux at UFC Fight Night 117 in September. However a knee injury would strike Rua again forcing him out of the bout.
In Rua’s 35 fight career he has KO/TKO’d 20 of his opponents totaling a whopping 4,073.6 lbs. of men.
In order from most recent:
Gian Villante UFC FN 106 3rd rnd. TKO @ 0:59 206 lbs.
James Te Huna UFC FN 33 1st rnd. KO @ 1:03 205 lbs.
Brandon Vera UFC on Fox 4 4th rnd. TKO @ 4:09 203.8 lbs.
Forrest Griffin UFC 134 1st rnd. KO @ 1:53 205 lbs.
Lyoto Machida UFC 113 1st rnd. KO @ 3:35 204 lbs.
Chuck Liddell UFC 97 1st rnd. TKO @ 4:28 206 lbs.
Mark Coleman UFC 93 3rd rnd. TKO @ 4:36 206 lbs.
Alistair Overeem Pride 33 1st rnd. KO @ 3:37 205 lbs.
Cyrille Diabate Pride FC (9/06) 1st rnd. TKO @ 5:29 201.7 lbs.
Ricardo Arona Pride FC (08/05) 1st rnd. KO @ 2:54 205 lbs.
Alistair Overeem Pride FC (08/05) 1st rnd. TKO @ 6:42 205 lbs.
Quinton Jackson Pride FC (04/05) 1st rnd. TKO @ 4:47 205 lbs.
Hiromitsu Kanehara Pride 29 1st rnd. TKO @ 1:40 200 lbs.
Yasuhito Namekawa Pride Bushido 5 1st rnd. TKO @ 6:02 205 lbs.
Akihiro Gono Pride Bushido 2 1st rnd. TKO @ 9:04 189.6 lbs.
Akira Shoji Pride Bushido 1 1st rnd. KO @ 3:47 203 lbs.
Erick Wanderley IFC 2nd rnd. TKO @ 2:54 203.5 lbs.
Evangelista Santos Meca 9 1st rnd. TKO @ 9:22 205 lbs.
Angelo Antonio de Oliveira Meca 8 1st rnd. TKO @ 0:55 205 lbs.
Rafael Freitas Meca 7 1st rnd. KO @ 4:00 205 lbs.
Which is your favorite Rua KO?
Check out the complete Dropping Tonnage series below:
Dropping Tonnage Vol. 1 – Mark Hunt
Dropping Tonnage Vol. 2 – Michael Bisping
Dropping Tonnage Vol. 3 – Cain Velasquez