- Only fighter to score back to back KO wins over UFC Hall of Famers (Coleman and Liddell). Also defeated a third Hall of Famer, Forrest Griffin, in 2011
- Has won three of his last four bouts
- 21 wins by KO; one win by submission (kneebar)
- 12-1 in PRIDE, with wins over Quinton Jackson, Akihiro Gono, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Alistair Overeem (twice), Ricardo Arona, Kevin Randleman, and Kazuhiro Nakamura.
- Decision win over Nogueira in 2005 (PRIDE) was one of the greatest fights in MMA history
TRAINING: As always, training twice a day, eating and resting between training sessions, and then it all starts again the next day.
When and why did you start training for fighting? I started to train when I was 16 years old (1997), following in the steps of my older brother Murilo Ninja. For sure, I started to train because of him, and I went to the Chute Boxe Academy to watch him train.
What ranks and titles have you held? Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. PRIDE GRAND PRIX title in 2005 - It was a very difficult tournament and I beat some top guys to reach the title like Quinton Jackson, Rogerio Minotoro Nogueira and Ricardo Arona. TUF Brazil 4 coach. UFC Hall of Famer (Fight wing for Henderson I)
Do you have any heroes? My older brother Murilo Ninja is my hero. I'm a fighter today because of him; he was the guy that motivated me to get into the sport, and with my masters Rudimar Fedrigo and Rafael Cordeiro, they helped me to become a professional fighter.
What is your favorite technique? My background is Muay Thai but I like Jiu Jitsu too.
What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? It is a dream coming true. I had the opportunity to fight in PRIDE two times in the USA, and the American fans are incredible. The noise and excitement of the crowd is fantastic, and I'm sure that I have the opportunity of my life in the hands. UFC is the number one event around the world and I'm working hard for the belt, which is my main goal.
Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? Yes, I went to college. Here in Brazil the names are a little different. I finished the second degree.
What was your job before you started fighting? I worked as a model here in Brazil, making some pictures, books and fashion parades for some brands. I enjoyed the experience, but to be honest I'm a fighter since I was 16.
UFC Fight NightWin
Rua vs NogueiraRound3Time04:59MethodDEC
UFC Fight Night
Rua vs CraigRound3Time5:00MethodDRAW
UFC Fight NightWin
Rua vs PedroRound3Time00:46MethodKO/TKO