RIO DE JANEIRO – Ihor Potieria beat Mauricio Rua with a first-round TKO Saturday on the preliminary card at UFC 283 at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro.
Take a look inside the fight with Potieria, who sent former champion and all-time legend “Shogun” into retirement with a loss.
Ihor Potieria vs. Mauricio Rua
Jan 21, 2023; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Ihor Potieria (blue gloves) reacts to the fight against Mauricio Rua (red gloves) during UFC 283 at Jeunesse Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 21, 2023; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Mauricio Rua (red gloves) reacts with Ihor Potieria (blue gloves) after their fight during UFC 283 at Jeunesse Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports
“When I was just 16, I said I’m going to be fighting ‘Shogun’ one day. But that was just a joke. The way it worked out, the way the energies work, is that you attract what you wish for. … Yes, it was his last fight, and I’m not sure anyone’s going to be happy about him losing, but the fact is I’m thankful to ‘Shogun’ for taking the fight because it’s legends like him that give us young guys a way. They show us the way. They usher us in as the new generation.”
Potieria on feeling small at heavyweight
Jan 21, 2023; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Mauricio Rua (red gloves) fights Ihor Potieria (blue gloves) during UFC 283 at Jeunesse Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports
“I’m going to the UFC (Performance Institute) in Las Vegas, and they’re going to figure out what division is best for me. I have to, of course, be much heavier (than I am at light heavyweight). I need to be at least (240 pounds) to do anything (at heavyweight). I’m just 26, and everyone knows heavyweights and light heavyweights take much longer to develop their strength and their power. Both divisions are good for me, but I’m just a little small for (heavyweight).”
Potieria on what he wants next
“We’ll keep climbing up. We’ll keep fighting whoever the UFC gives me. I don’t know – you want to give me Jake Paul? I’ll fight Jake Paul. But this is not the kind of organization where you (pick your opponent). The next one is whatever the UFC tells me, and I’m going to be ready for whatever it is.”
To hear more from Potieria, check out the video of the full post-fight interview above.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 283.