When Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira faced off against Frank Mir in 2008 he had won three straight fights and was viewed as virtually unstoppable if not nearly unbeatable. Mir quickly changed the public’s perception by flattening “Minotauro” in the second stanza of their bout and thereby becoming the first fighter to ever finish the iconic Brazilian.
While Mir has come out to say he’s entering their rematch at UFC 140 with a chip on his shoulder based on comments from Nogueira’s camp regarding his health entering the fight at UFC 92, his 35-year old opponent is happy to have the opportunity to even the score but doesn’t harbor any ill will towards Mir based on the brutal beatdown from three years ago.
“It’s a rematch I’ve always wanted,” Nogueira began in a conversation with Tatame when asked about the December 10 duel. “I’m pleased to fight him again. I’ll do my best. I’m better conditioned, (and) I’ve gone through my surgeries so I’m no longer injured. I’ll represent the best way I can. I’m well-trained, I did an excellent training camp and what I want is to win.”
In response to how he plans to approach him this time around, Nogueira explained his focus wasn’t where it should have been and that he could have been more active.
“I guess that, in 2008, I was a little (emotional). I wasn’t thinking, I didn’t move a lot. I gotta keep moving around Frank Mir. He’s agile, despite getting tired. So I gotta keep moving all the time and try to pressure him more.”
Fans can watch the two former heavyweight champs clash on the UFC 140 PPV, a rundown of bouts headlined by Jon Jones defending his light heavyweight belt against Lyoto Machida. Nogueira’s twin brother, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, will also be in action on the same card in a bout against Tito Ortiz.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: I’m not surprised Nogueira is taking a casual approach to the rematch with Mir. He’s a pretty easy-going guy and he’s been around long enough to know that the previous loss was purely business.