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Monday Morning Hangover: UFC 283 ends two legendary careers

MMA: UFC 283 - Rua vs Potieria Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

UFC 283 went down this past weekend (Sat., Jan. 21, 2023) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, leaving plenty of fighters feeling the post-fight blues. Among them was Deiveson Figueiredo, who suffered another loss to Brandon Moreno (see it), coughing up his Flyweight title in the process and forcing him to make the move up to Bantamweight. And Paul Craig, who was knocked out by Johnny Walker in the first round, his second straight defeat (watch highlights).

But, perhaps the two most crushing losses belonged to Mauricio Rua and Glover Teixeira, two long-time mixed martial arts (MMA) veterans who competed in their final fights inside the Octagon in front of their home crowd.

Rua had already made it known that win, lose or draw he would be competing in the final bout of his career. While he wasn’t out to prove anything to attract new potential suitors, going out on a win was still top priority after losing his previous two fights. But, a fairy tale ending was not to be for “Shogun,” who was knocked out by Ihor Potieria in the first round, sending Rua riding off into the sunset with his first-ever three fight losing streak.

It was a sad sight to see because Rua has long been one of the most revered fighters in the sport, winning titles in both UFC and Pride FC. In his prime he was a feared foe and the trail of destruction he left in Japan gave fight fans a highlight reel to put on repeat for years to come, and his time inside the Octagon left us with many more.

“Even though I lost, I really feel a sense of having my mission accomplished of fulfilling my duties because for 21 years, I gave my most,” Rua said during at the post-fight presser. “I left everything in the rings and Octagon and gave it my all. I feel relieved and fulfilled in a sense of accomplishment because I did my best and it was a long career,” he ended

As for Teixeira, no one saw his retirement speech coming after he came up short against Jamahal Hill in a Light Heavyweight title fight. Hill did put quite the beating on “Hands of Stone,” but the 43-year old veteran showed his toughness by hanging on for 25 minutes. Indeed, lightning did not strike twice for Teixeira, who did win the title in Oct. 2021, almost two decades after making his pro MMA debut.

It’s a feat that likely won’t be replicated.

“I think I am too tough for my own good, for my own health — I cannot keep up anymore,” he said post-fight. “It’s an honor to put the gloves down the same night as Shogun. I wish we were in the era of Royce Gracie where they were no rounds and keep going, but we are not and I can’t keep up anymore.”

While Teixeira doesn’t exactly have a “Shogun” resume, both men left a mark in the hurt business, and in this instance, retirement was the right decision for them. There wasn’t much either of them needed to prove or accomplish at this stage in their careers, and they leave the fight sport as two of the classiest and most-respected fighters ever.

It’s just unfortunate we never got to see these two veterans fight each other inside the Octagon.

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