‘Ninja’ Rua Retires at 31

By Sherdog.com Staff May 22, 2011
Former EliteXC middleweight champion and Pride Fighting Championships veteran Murilo “Ninja” Rua (Pictured; file photo) on Saturday retired from mixed martial arts. The 31-year-old made the announcement via Twitter.

The decision comes on the heels of Rua’s third-round technical knockout loss to British Association of Mixed Martial Arts titleholder Tom Watson in the BAMMA 6 main event at Wembley Arena in London. He was cut down by a head kick and follow-up punches from the surging British middleweight, who has posted 10 wins in his last 11 outings.

“It was an amazing run, and [it is] a very tough moment,” Rua wrote. “But there comes a time for all in life, and it’s time to move on. I am proud of all I did in MMA and all [the] experiences I had.”

The older brother of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Ninja made his professional debut under the Meca World Vale Tudo banner in May 2000 and remained unbeaten until his Pride 17 encounter with two-time Olympian Dan Henderson ended in a split decision defeat. He competed in three weight classes -- middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight -- during his 11-year career, earning high-profile wins over Mario Sperry, Akira Shoji and Joey Villasenor.

Ninja does not plan to vacate the MMA scene completely.

“I will continue to work with MMA, doing seminars, teaching classes, training fighters and doing my share to help [the] sport that I love so much,” he wrote. [It is] time now to help others and enjoy my family, my wife, my kids and move [on]. Life goes on, memories will stay forever and MMA will still be my life forever.”

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