Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White said that Mauricio Rua was going to get the retirement speech with a loss at the UFC Fight Night 33 event on FOX Sports 1, which took place at Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Friday night (Dec. 6, 2013) in Queensland, Australia.
"Shogun" blasted his way back into the win column "Down Under" with a thunderous knockout win against heavy-handed hometown boy James Te Huna. The Aussie came out of the gate guns blazing, trying to overwhelm the Brazilian, but instead took a counter left to the jaw and went nighty-night.
See how it all went down here.
The win snapped a two-fight losing streak -- the first of his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career -- but more importantly, sent a big F-U to all the people who called for him to hang up the gloves. That includes the last man to beat him, Chael Sonnen, who wanted to see Rua employ a submission-heavy offense.
Rashad Evans wouldn't even give him the benefit of the doubt and picked Te Huna.
To be fair, it hasn't been all wine and roses for the aging Brazilian. Even in victory, he's still just 3-3 since losing his 205-pound strap to Jon Jones in early 2011. In addition, he's been to hell and back in wars with other veterans like Dan Henderson.
And let's not forget about all those knee surgeries.
That said, Rua was able to silence his critics by turning back the clock, at least for one night, just like his old Chute Boxe pal Wanderlei Silva did earlier this year when "The Axe Murderer" staved off retirement talk by planishing Brian Stann overseas.
These guys may be rising from the ashes like the proverbial phoenix, or perhaps just getting their second wind. Call it whatever you want, just don't call it luck. This was not an eyes-closed-hope-for-the-best-haymaker. It was a calculated counter attack from a skilled striker.
Against an opponent who had never been knocked out.
The fact that "Shogun" was able to do it so effortlessly is testament to his talent and may go a long way in re-establishing his confidence. Questions still remain about his cardio and longevity, since neither were tested in such a short span of time.
But as a fighter, he probably won't need them if he continues to perform like that.
It will be interesting to see who the promotion pairs him up with next. He may not be a top five light heavyweight (yet), but he's still as dangerous as ever. And for the time being, he's earned the right to ply his trade without anyone telling him he shouldn't.
Here's to hoping he can make the most of it.
For complete UFC Fight Night 33 results and play-by-play, as well as reactions, videos, highlights and more, be sure to check out our "Hunt vs. Bigfoot" live story stream by clicking here.