May 22, 1980 |
|Residence||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)|
|Division||Middleweight (185 lb)
Light Heavyweight (205 lb)
Heavyweight (265 lb)
|Fighting out of||Curitiba, Brazil|
|Team||Universidade da luta|
|Rank||Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Notable relatives||Mauricio Rua (brother)|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Murilo Rua (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈʁuɐ]; born May 22, 1980) is a retired Brazilian mixed martial artist who fought in Pride Fighting Championships. Nicknamed Ninja, he is the older brother of former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. He is known for his aggressive Muay Thai style. Rua is a veteran of Pride Fighting Championships, where he once enjoyed a reputation as one of the best middleweights in the world. Rua regularly fought at 185 pounds, but has also fought at 205 pounds and heavyweight. He is the former (and first ever) EliteXC Middleweight Champion. He also had a successful career in mixed martial arts in England appearing on both Cage Rage and BAMMA cards. He is of Portuguese and Italian descent, but was born in Brazil.
Mixed martial arts career
Rua started his career at Chute Boxe Academy in Curitiba, Brazil, a Muay Thai training group which has produced champions like Wanderlei Silva. Ninja's first foray into MMA was with Brazilian-based Meca World Vale Tudo, where he amassed an impressive 5–0–1 record before signing with Pride Fighting Championships.
Ninja made his PRIDE debut against Daijiro Matsui in September 2001, which he won via referee stoppage after repeated kicks and stomps. After losing a close decision to Dan Henderson, Rua went on to defeat such fighters as Alex Andrade, Akira Shoji, Alexander Otsuka and Mario Sperry. The latter being the beginnings of the long lasting rivalry between Chute Boxe and Brazilian Top Team. Rua lost to Ricardo Arona in a close battle of attrition, and Sergei Kharitonov in the Pride Total Elimination 2004, where he fought as a heavyweight, suffering a brutal knockout loss.
At Pride 29, Rua faced Quinton Jackson. Jackson won via a split decision that did not seem to reflect the events of the match. Jackson appeared embarrassed with the result and attempted to offer the winner's trophy to Rua following the decision. Commentators such as Mauro Ranallo and Bas Rutten, who were present at the bout, also have stated that they thought Rua had won the fight.
Rua fought three more times in Pride, defeating newcomer Murad Chunkaiev before dropping a lacklustre decision against top ranked Paulo Filho. Nevertheless, Rua was selected as part of the Pride welterweight (185 pound) Grand Prix. In the opening bracket, however, he was knocked out by Denis Kang. Rua then left Pride for a tenure with British MMA promotion Cage Rage in order to strengthen the tie between the two promotions. His first bout, against English UFC veteran Mark Weir, resulted in a victory by submission after a rough and tumble affair. He also defeated Alex Reid via doctor stoppage before the newly created EliteXC organization purchased Cage Rage, therefore he fought for the vacant Elite XC middleweight at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Baroni against Greg Jackson trained Joey Villasenor and recorded a second round TKO, stopping Villasenor with strikes. After three months as the champion, his first title defense came to ICON sport middleweight champion Robbie Lawler. Despite narrowly winning the first two rounds, an exhausted Ninja was defeated via a third round TKO at EliteXC: Uprising. He rebounded with a victory over Muay Thai fighter and Cage Rage contender Xavier Foupa-Pokam at Cage Rage 24: Feel the pain.
On December 18, 2007, Sherdog.com reported that both Rua and his brother Mauricio had left the Chute Boxe camp with plans to open up their own facility in Massachusetts. The Ruas' new camp was named Universidade da luta, which translates to "University of Fighting", and instead was opened in the Ruas' hometown of Curitiba, Brazil.
Rua was initially scheduled to fight Phil Baroni on the May 31, 2008, EliteXC card, however, he suffered a minor foot injury which led him to fight on the June 14 card instead, where he recorded a dominant KO victory over undefeated Tony Bonello. On October 4, 2008, Rua was defeated by Benji Radach on a live CBS broadcast. Radach finished the fight with punches to Rua's head after a failed flying knee sent him sprawling on his back.
Rua made his Dream debut at Dream 8 against Riki Fukuda on April 5, 2009. His original opponent was supposed to be Dong Sik Yoon but Dong was injured and Riki was found as a late replacement. Rua went on to lose against Riki by unanimous decision. After winning both of his latest bouts at Bitetti Combat MMA 4 and Bitetti Combat MMA 5 in the Light Heavyweight division, Rua hinted that he will continue fighting at 205 lb.
Rua was supposed to fight Falaniko Vitale at Shine Fights 3 on May 15, 2010. The middleweight bout between Falaniko Vitale and Rua, previously announced for Shine Fights Worlds Collide: Mayorga vs. Thomas, was scrapped due to an injury sustained by Vitale.
Rua beat Jeremy May on July 18, 2010 at Impact Fighting Championships by submission via guillotine choke.
Rua lost to Cesar Gracie product Roy Boughton via unanimous decision on October 23, 2010. Boughton missed weight by 5.5 lbs.
"Ninja" fought Tom Watson for the BAMMA Middleweight Title on May 21, 2011. The fight proved to be a one sided affair, with Rua being rocked several times throughout the fight, as well as being visibly hurt with leg kicks. The end came at 2:06 of the third round after Watson stunned Rua with a head kick and followed up with strikes until the referee stepped in to save the unconscious Rua.
After Rua lost against Tom Watson, he said he would not continue fighting and would retire. Rua is now set to come out of retirement to fight a rematch against Pride FC vet and former World Extreme Cage Fighting middleweight champion Paulo Filho.
Rua once again lost to Filho by a controversial referee stoppage by Mario Yamasaki. Filho landed a strong combination which rocked Rua, forcing him to shoot for a single leg take down. Yamasaki saw this as a reason to stop the fight, and stepped in to save Rua.
Rua and longtime girlfriend Ana married on October 8, 2004 in Curitiba, Brazil. The couple have two sons, one who was born in August 2008 and one named Jose Lucas who was born March 15, 2010.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|34 matches||20 wins||13 losses|
|Loss||20–13–1||Paulo Filho||TKO (punches)||Best of the Best: Filho vs. Ninja II||September 6, 2012||1||0:47||Belem, Brazil||Announced retirement for the second time shortly after the fight|
|Loss||20–12–1||Tom Watson||KO (head kick and punches)||BAMMA 6||May 21, 2011||3||2:06||London, England||For the BAMMA Middleweight Championship, Announced retirement after the fight|
|Loss||20–11–1||Roy Boughton||Decision (unanimous)||W-1 New Ground||October 23, 2010||3||5:00||Nova Scotia, Canada||Boughton missed contracted weight (190 lbs) by 5.5 pounds|
|Win||20–10–1||Jeremy May||Submission (guillotine choke)||Impact FC 2||July 18, 2010||1||4:12||Sydney, Australia||Return to Middleweight|
|Win||19–10–1||Arturo Arcemendes||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||Bitetti Combat MMA 7||May 28, 2010||1||1:27||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Win||18–10–1||Jason Jones||TKO (punches)||Bitetti Combat MMA 5||December 12, 2009||2||3:20||São Paulo, Brazil|
|Win||17–10–1||Alex Stiebling||KO (head kick)||Bitetti Combat MMA 4||September 12, 2009||1||0:39||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||Light Heavyweight debut|
|Loss||16–10–1||Riki Fukuda||Decision (unanimous)||Dream 8||April 5, 2009||2||5:00||Nagoya, Japan|
|Loss||16–9–1||Benji Radach||KO (punches)||EliteXC: Heat||Oct 4, 2008||2||2:31||Sunrise, Florida, United States|
|Win||16–8–1||Tony Bonello||KO (punches)||EliteXC: Return of the King||June 14, 2008||1||3:16||Hawaii, United States|
|Win||15–8–1||Xavier Foupa-Pokam||Submission (rear naked choke)||Cage Rage 24||December 1, 2007||2||3:47||London, England|
|Loss||14–8–1||Robbie Lawler||KO (punches)||EliteXC: Uprising||September 15, 2007||3||2:04||Hawaii, United States||Lost Elite XC Middleweight Championship|
|Win||14–7–1||Joey Villaseñor||KO (punches)||Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Baroni||June 22, 2007||2||1:05||California, United States||Won the Inaugural Elite XC Middleweight Championship|
|Win||13–7–1||Alex Reid||TKO (cut)||Cage Rage 21||April 21, 2007||1||0:28||London, England|
|Win||12–7–1||Mark Weir||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||Cage Rage 18||September 30, 2006||2||1:15||London, England|
|Loss||11–7–1||Denis Kang||KO (punches)||Pride Bushido 11||June 4, 2006||1||0:15||Saitama, Saitama, Japan||Pride 2006 Welterweight Grand Prix Opening Round|
|Loss||11–6–1||Paulo Filho||Decision (unanimous)||Pride Bushido 10||April 2, 2006||2||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||11–5–1||Murad Chunkaiev||Submission (heel hook)||Pride 30||October 23, 2005||1||3:31||Saitama, Saitama, Japan||Middleweight debut|
|Loss||10–5–1||Quinton Jackson||Decision (split)||Pride 29||February 20, 2005||3||5:00||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|
|Loss||10–4–1||Sergei Kharitonov||KO (punches)||Pride Total Elimination 2004||April 25, 2004||1||4:14||Saitama, Saitama, Japan||Pride 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix Opening Round|
|Win||10–3–1||Alexander Otsuka||Submission (side choke)||Pride 27||February 1, 2004||1||5:25||Osaka, Japan|
|Win||9–3–1||Akira Shoji||KO (flying knee)||Pride Shockwave 2003||December 31, 2003||1||2:24||Saitama, Saitama, Japan|
|Loss||8–3–1||Kevin Randleman||TKO (cut)||Pride 24||December 23, 2002||3||0:20||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||8–2–1||Ricardo Arona||Decision (unanimous)||Pride 23||November 24, 2002||3||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||8–1–1||Mario Sperry||Decision (unanimous)||Pride 20||April 28, 2002||3||5:00||Yokohama, Japan|
|Win||7–1–1||Alex Andrade||Decision (unanimous)||Pride 18||December 23, 2001||3||5:00||Fukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan|
|Loss||6–1–1||Dan Henderson||Decision (split)||Pride 17||November 3, 2001||3||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||6–0–1||Daijiro Matsui||TKO (soccer kicks and stomps)||Pride 16||September 24, 2001||3||0:51||Osaka, Japan|
|Win||5–0–1||Rogerio Sagate||Submission (keylock)||Meca World Vale Tudo 5||June 9, 2001||1||3:54||Curitiba, Brazil|
|Draw||4–0–1||Akihiro Gono||Draw||Shooto - To The Top 4||May 1, 2001||3||5:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||4–0||Leopoldo Serao||TKO (cuts)||Meca World Vale Tudo 4||December 16, 2000||1||7:00||Curitiba, Brazil|
|Win||3–0||Luiz Claudio das Dores||Submission (leg kicks)||Meca World Vale Tudo 3||November 14, 2000||1||3:00||Curitiba, Brazil|
|Win||2–0||Israel Albuquerque||Submission (punches)||Meca World Vale Tudo 2||August 12, 2000||1||1:36||Curitiba, Brazil|
|Win||1–0||Adriano Verdelli||Submission (triangle choke)||Meca World Vale Tudo 1||May 27, 2000||1||3:08||Curitiba, Brazil|
- "The downfall of BTT and Chute Boxe". ESPN.com. 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
- Chute Boxe star and Pride veteran Murilo "Ninja" Rua finally got married to his long time girlfriend Ana Paula Sanson on October 8 in the city of Curitiba, Brazil.
- "Murilo 'Ninja' father again, back at Dream 14". Tatame.com. 2009-0-27. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
- "Murilo 'Ninja' father again, back at Dream 14". Tatame.com. March 17, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-19.
- Official website
- Professional MMA record for Murilo Rua from Sherdog
- Murilo Rua's ProElite.com Profile
- Murilo Rua's EliteXC Profile
|New championship||1st Elite XC Middleweight Champion
June 22, 2007 – September 15, 2007