Rua took on rising light-heavyweight Tyson Pedro at the event and heading into the contest, the former champ was the underdog on the betting lines. Early on, things didn’t look good for Rua, when he was badly rocked by an accidental clash of the heads. But, the Brazilian fighter managed to recover and finished Pedro in round three, after the latter reportedly injured his knee.
With the victory, Rua returned to the win column, as the star was coming off a knockout loss to Anthony Smith in July. But, since Rua is closing in on 40, and because of all the wars he’s been in, talk about when he might retire continues. While discussing his future after the victory, Rua had this to say (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“I face every one of my fights as if it was my last,” Rua said. “I don’t know when I’ll stop, but I’m taking it step-by-step. I intend to, at least, fulfill my UFC contract.”
“When I stop, I will certainly be an accomplished guy in my career,” Rua said. “I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved, already. Now, I fight for my family, for my team. To make my family and my team proud. And it’s what I love. For sure, this adrenalin of fighting, which makes us tense and nervous – I was talking to (Eduardo Alonso) today, I will miss that when I stop.
“I don’t want to stop and then think that I shouldn’t have stopped. I want to stop when I see that I am really done with fighting. I don’t want to regret having stopped before that.”
Fair enough, and there’s no question that because Rua won on Saturday, calls for him to retire are few. If he had suffered another, bad knockout, however, then you know lots of people would be saying it’s time to hang up the gloves.
Rua reportedly has two fights left on his current UFC deal, so one would think, barring injuries, that he’ll finish that up in 2019. Then it will be interesting to see where he goes from there. If Rua wins both fights, he’ll certainly be in very good position in terms of bargaining power.
Rua’s current record stands at 26-11 and he’s gone 4-1 in his last 5 contests.