Losing the TitleEdit
Rua, after defeating Machida for the 'first' time, was set to fight Rashad Evans after he returned from another catastrophic knee surgery.
A month before the fight was set to occur, Evans suffered an injury and that same night after his team-mate Jon Jones defeated Ryan Bader, Jones was offered the chance to replace Evans against Rua and he accepted. Jones dominated Rua for nearly fifteen minutes before finishing him with a brutal sequence of punishment.
After The TitleEdit
He next fought a rematch against former light-heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin. He defeated the understandably lackluster Griffin -- whose wife was in labor at home -- via first-round knockout. Rua's hammerfists on Forrest KOed him twice and fractured his jaw.
Mauricio next welcomed former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion and legend Dan Henderson back to the UFC in a very high-profile five-round non-title bout. Henderson and Rua both emerged from the fight with visible facial damage after a twenty-five minute war. Henderson took home the controversial unanimous decision victory despite many analysts scoring the fight as a draw.
Everyone could agree on at least one thing: Rua's fight against Henderson was one of the best in MMA history and it was certainly Fight of the Year for 2011.
Rua was next rumored to fight a rematch against Quinton Jackson. Instead, after months of uncertainy, Rua signed to face Thiago Silva in a crossroads fight for both men. The fight didn't materialize. Rua instead next signed to face Brandon Vera, defeating Vera via fourth round technical knockout after a great contest.
Rua next signed to face prospect Alexander Gustaffson live on Fox again in December 2012. Gustafsson defeated Rua via unanimous decision.
Rua was next called out by Ryan Bader in February 2013 and rumored in the same month to be fighting a rematch against Pride veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. The rumors were soon confirmed. Unfortunately just weeks before the bout was set to take place Nogueira suffered a back injury and was forced to pull out. Consummate multi-divisional title challenger Chael Sonnen offered to step in to face Rua.
The fight was set and Sonnen dominated Rua on the ground before defeating him via a shocking first round guillotine choke submission.
Rua quickly signed to fight Australian striker James Te-Huna in Australia. Rua knocked out Te-Huna very quickly in the first round.
Rua next signed for a rematch against Dan Henderson. Henderson scored a comeback knock out against a resurgent Rua in the third round breaking Rua's nose in grisly fashion in the process. The fight was Rua's first true knockout loss.
Rua took some time off the sport to recover and was robbed at shotgun point in Brazil in the meantime among other misfortunes. He again considered dropping to middleweight as he had before and after the Sonnen loss.
Rua was rumored in June 2014 to be considering fighting KSW veteran and UFC newcomer Jan Blachowicz in the UFC's return to Japan.
Instead Rua next signed in September 2014 to fight British striker Jimi Manuwa in Brazil. Manuwa was unfortunately injured and replaced by Ovince St. Preux on very short notice. St. Preux ended up scoring a stunning thirty-four second upset knockout over Rua leading to calls for Rua to retire or - at the very least - to drop down a weight class to middleweight.
After taking some time off Rua instead next fought a rematch against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira winning a slightly controversial unanimous decision.
He next agreed to a rematch with Quinton Jackson.
- Mauricio Rua vs. Rafael Freitas - The fight was the MMA debut of Rua.
- Mauricio Rua vs. Evangelista Santos
- Mauricio Rua vs. Yasuhito Namekawa
- Mauricio Rua vs. Hiromitsu Kanehara - The fight was Hiromitsu Kanehara's last in Pride.
- Mauricio Rua vs. Quinton Jackson - The fight was in the opening round of the Pride 2005 middleweight (205 lbs.) grand prix.
- Mauricio Rua vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira - The fight was in the quarterfinals of the Pride 2005 middleweight grand prix. It is regarded by almost any MMA fan as one of the most technical and exciting fights in mixed martial arts history.
- Mauricio Rua vs. Ricardo Arona - The fight was the finals for the Pride 2005 Middleweight grand prix. Ricardo Arona had defeated Wanderlei Silva in the pair's first fight earlier in the night and Rua had defeated Alistair Overeem in THAT pair's first fight.
- Mauricio Rua vs. Cyrille Diabate
- Mauricio Rua vs. Kazuhiro Nakamura
- Mauricio Rua vs. Alistair Overeem 2 - The fight was the final Pride fight for both men.
- Mauricio Rua vs. Forrest Griffin 1 - The fight was Rua's UFC debut, and he was a heavy favorite coming into the fight. As seems to happen a lot, Griffin pulled off the upset, earning the right to be a coach on the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show and afterwards a title shot at light-heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson.
- Mauricio Rua vs. Mark Coleman 2 - The fight was touted as one of the worst fights of 2009, a contender with Thales Leites vs. Anderson Silva.
- Chuck Liddell vs. Mauricio Rua - This was thought to be Chuck Liddell's last MMA fight, as it was his second consecutive knockout loss. With the win, Mauricio Rua earned his first shot at Lyoto Machida and the latter's light-heavyweight championship at UFC 104.
- Lyoto Machida vs. Mauricio Rua 1 - The fight was for the UFC light-heavyweight title. Lyoto Machida came in undefeated and left officially undefeated. Controversial decision. Many thought Rua won the fight and that it was a robbery, and thus an immediate rematch was scheduled.
- Lyoto Machida vs. Mauricio Rua 2 - The fight was for the UFC light-heavyweight title. Lyoto Machida came into the fight undefeated and it was his first official mixed martial arts loss.
- Jon Jones vs. Mauricio Rua - The fight was for the light-heavyweight title with Mauricio Rua defending. Jon Jones was a late replacement for an injured Rashad Evans.
- Mauricio Rua vs. Forrest Griffin 2
- Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio Rua - The fight was the return to the UFC of Dan Henderson. The fight was a five-round non-title fight. With the victory, Henderson earned a shot at the winner of the UFC light-heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Lyoto Machida. The fight was considered to be the Fight of the Year for 2011 and one of the best fights in combat sports' history.
- Mauricio Rua vs. Brandon Vera - The fight was possibly for a shot at the UFC light-heavyweight title.
- Alexander Gustafsson vs. Mauricio Rua
- Ovince St. Preux vs. Mauricio Rua - Ovince St. Preux was a replacement on ten days' notice for an injured Jimi Manuwa.
- Mauricio Rua vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira 2
- Mauricio Rua vs. Corey Anderson