Heavyweight legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira has weathered a number of storms in his career, earning a reputation for his uncanny ability to absorb damage before mounting a comeback to pull a victory from the clutches of defeat. However, “Minotauro” was unable to do so three years ago when fellow former champion Frank Mir pounded him out at UFC 92.
This time around Nogueira will enter a bout at UFC 140 against Mir as healthy as he’s been in a long time and on the heels of a minor career resurgence after flattening Brendan Schaub in August. The 35-year old Brazilian spoke some about their match-up in an extended preview for the event where he revealed he’s simply using their first fight as a knockdown he plans to get back up from even stronger than before.
“He’s a really good fighter,” said Nogueira. “That day he was better than me, so I’m gonna work hard and I’m very motivated.”
“He thinks he’s gonna do the same – he won’t do the same,” he continued. “He’s not gonna hit me. He’s gonna get hit in this fight.”
Nogueira and Mir fight on a main card headlined by Jon Jones defending his light heavyweight belt against former title-holder Lyoto Machida. Nogueira’s twin brother, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, is also set for action at the December 10 show with Tito Ortiz standing opposite from him inside the Octagon.
You can watch the full extended preview for UFC 140 below:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: With Nogueira being healthy it should be interesting to see if it makes a difference. However, I think Mir’s size and strength will still reign supreme in the end, so as much as I’d like to see “Minotauro” pick up the win I don’t see it happening.