More than one and a half decades since their first fight, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua put an end to his rivalry with fellow Brazilian Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the trilogy fight at UFC Fight Island 3 in Abu Dhabi. In a contest that was thoroughly entertaining and often too close to call, Shogun emerged victorious via split decision.
Keeping in line with their first two fights, Shogun Rua and Nogueira put up a show for the fight fans. The MMA veterans brought the best out of each other but only one man can win in the end and it turned out that Shogun won the third and final contest between the pair, putting an end to the rivalry. When the fight ended, the scorecards of two judges read 29-28 for Shogun Rua with the third judge giving Nogueira the nod with a 29-28 score.
“I’m very happy because I win three times with the legend Rogerio Nogueira,” Rua said during his post fight interview. “I am the most happiest man in the world today. Every fight with Nogueira is a war.”
After a somewhat sluggish start, the fighters ultimately indulged in a slugfest after a nasty jab from Nogueira rocked Shogun. From then on, both Shogun and Nogueira swung for the fences until Shogun shot for the takedown.
Shogun was still connecting at will in the later rounds with Nogueira slowing down. With less than two minutes remaining, Shogun took his opponent down again and landed some vicious ground and pound on the mat. This sequence is probably what tilted the evenly poised scrap in Shogun's favor.
As for Nogueira, who said Saturday night would be the final appearance of his fighting career, has confirmed that this was the last fight in his glorious career.
“I fought very good,” Nogueira said. “I tried to knock him out every time. For me it’s an honor to share the octagon with ‘Shogun.’ To be here 44 years old, I think that’s going to be my last one.”