Murilo Rua

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Murilo Rua
Born (1980-05-22) May 22, 1980 (age 38)
Curitiba, Brazil
Other namesNinja
ResidenceRio de Janeiro, Brazil
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Light heavyweight
Reach72.0 in (183 cm)
StyleMuay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Fighting out ofCuritiba, Brazil
TeamUniversidade da Luta[1][2]
RankBlack belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Black prajied in Muay Thai
Years active2000–2012
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout9
By submission9
By decision2
By knockout7
By decision6
Other information
Notable relativesMauricio Rua (brother)
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: September 13, 2011 (2011-09-13)

Murilo "Ninja" Milani Rua (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈʁuɐ]; born May 22, 1980) is a retired Brazilian mixed martial artist who fought in Pride Fighting Championships. 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[edit]

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 Alex Andrade, and Alexander Otsuka. Rua was scheduled to fight for the Meca Middleweight (205 lb) title vs Jorge Navalhada, but was injured, and could not fight for the title.[3] After returning from injury, he defeated Mario Sperry, and this fueled beginning 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, 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 was planning to participate in Dream 14, though that event being rescheduled led to other plans.[4]

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 (2010-10-23). 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.[5]

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.

The two originally met at Pride Bushido 10 where Paulo Filho won by unanimous decision after 3 rounds.

Rua once again lost to Filho by yet another 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.

Personal life[edit]

Rua and longtime girlfriend Ana married on October 8, 2004 in Curitiba, Brazil.[6] The couple have two sons, one who was born in August 2008 and one named Jose Lucas who was born March 15, 2010.[7][8]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
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: Watson vs. Rua 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[9]
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


  1. ^ "Fight Finder: Murilo Rua". Sherdog. 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-15.
  2. ^ "The downfall of BTT and Chute Boxe". 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-09.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "Murilo 'Ninja' father again, back at Dream 14". March 27, 2009. Archived from the original on March 22, 2010. Retrieved March 19, 2009.
  8. ^ "Murilo 'Ninja' father again, back at Dream 14". March 17, 2010. Archived from the original on March 22, 2010. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
  9. ^ Rogers, 'Ninja' Return Under Warrior-1 MMA Banner

External links[edit]

New championship 1st Elite XC Middleweight Champion
June 22, 2007 – September 15, 2007
Succeeded by
Robbie Lawler