Alexandre Franca Nogueira, the man known as Pequeno, has been stripped of his Shooto 143-pound championship. Nogueira had the longest championship reign in modern MMA, holding the title for just over six years.
Pequeno has had ongoing knee problems, which have prevented him from competing at the highest level for quite some time.
He had been scheduled to defend his title on a couple of different occasions against Gilbert Melendez and most recently, Antonio Carvalho, but Pequeno had to pull out each time due to injuries.
Nogueira last defended his title in early 2005. Carvalho is now scheduled to face Takeshi Inoue for the vacant title.