UFC 134 Rio Post Fight: Big Nog is Back, Ready to Fight in Japan

August 28, 2011
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Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Brendan Schaub at UFC 134 Rio

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Brendan Schaub

After 18 months out of the Octagon, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was ready to shout it from the rooftops of Rio after knocking out rising heavyweight star Brendan Schaub at UFC 134 Rio on Saturday night…

“I’m back man, I’m back!” he proclaimed in a UFC post-fight interview.

“The fight was tough. Brendan bring a lot of his heavy hands,” said the elder Nogueira brother. “But I was saving the right hand for him. I trained that a lot and I did (it). I knocked him out in Brazil. (It) was my first fight in Brazil; my fight number 40.”

It wasn’t an easy road to Rio, however. Nogueira had long been plagued with knee and hip related issues. When the pain finally became too much, when he had enough of being told he looked much older than his – at the time – 34 years, the former Pride and UFC champion decided it was time to go under the knife.

“I just had surgery on my hip eight months ago. I was walking on crutches for four months. I had less than four months training for this fight,” he recounted.

Leading up to Saturday night’s fight in his homeland, Nogueira had been telling everyone that he felt better than he had in years, that the surgery shaved years off of the wear and tear of an already storied career. And, to be honest, at 35 years of age, he’s a little bitter about those that were saying it was time for him to call it a day.

“At the (pre-fight) press conference, some guys, they ask (UFC president) Dana White, if I lose should I quit? You know, should he retire me? That guy sucks!” declared Nogueira, not mincing any words, even in his second language.

Rodrigo Nogueira cracking on Randy Couture at UFC 102

Rodrigo Nogueira cracking on Randy Couture at UFC 102

He’s had mixed results since moving into the Octagon after the demise of Pride Fighting Championships, where he vied with Fedor Emelianenko for supremacy. Nogueira has now won four out of six bouts under the UFC banner, not earth shattering, but nothing to be ashamed of either, especially when the losses were to current UFC champion Cain Velasquez and former champion Frank Mir. His hit list also includes wins over former UFC champions Randy Couture and Tim Sylvia.

But even with his resurgence, Nogueira isn’t looking all that far ahead. He’s got several teammates – Rafael Feijao, Antonio Silva, and Junior dos Santos – with marquee fights lined up, and he’d like nothing more than to help them be successful, returning the favor they did recently for him.

Nogueira is a company man, however. He’ll be ready to jump as high as necessary when the UFC brass comes calling.

“I want to help my friends right now. I’m not thinking about the next fight, but I’ll for sure be ready. If they have a fight in the U.S., I’ll be ready. When they have a fight in February in Japan, I’ll be ready to fight over there.”

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  • Previously some people were lumping Nogueira in with fading fighters like Cro Cop and I didn’t get it. He beat Randy Couture and lost to undefeated champion Cain Velasquez in his last fight. I knew he would beat Schaub. He is still a contender.

    • afk

      he’s fading too, you can’t deny it. him being able to compete for this long and still pull out an impressive win just shows how incredible he is, but he IS fading. the speed difference was ridiculous against schaub. unfortunately for brendan, though, big nog has all the heart and clear-headedness in the world.

      • wonggfan

        Nog has been fading away for a while now….No one predicted the knockout.

        I saw Nog get clipped once or twice and get rattled. And if Brenden Schaubs could rattle you…imagine what other HW’s could do.

  • Cptmats

    Agreed,anyone who says they knew nog would win, must have a crystalball or somthing ! Nog is fading and Schaub is getting better every fight. Glad the Ol’boy had it in him though, I was impressed and super pumped to see him get a big win like this ! But I don’t think he is still a contender !

    • wonggfan

      No way Nog is a contender.

      You can’t be a contender in the HW division unless you beat Frank Mir via KO.

      Frank Mir is the ultimate gate-keeper.

      Only when you KO Frank Mir, can you talk about fighting the top four guys in the UFC.

  • devine22

    Yes he is fading an his stiff head bob wont work that great against the younger quicker fighters too much longer! Hopefully Dana gives him a fighter more his speed!

    • wonggfan

      I noticed that bob too. He must have been working hard on that.

      Yes, it won’t work against top fighters.

  • longtime fan

    Big Nog looked like he was standing in mud as he threw and dodged punches… but I think it is an incredible story that he was able to pull out the win considering the injuries and surgeries he went through. I have faith that he will become a lil more flexible and faster given the time to rehab. Really he pushed his recovery time faster than what it should have been. He wanted to fight in Brazil so much that he sacrificed that.

  • Unador

    I certainly didn’t expect Nog to win by KO. I thought Schaubs stand up was too good. But, it’s that narrow head of his, he get’s hit in the head once, and he needs time to recover, you double tap him, and he’s woozy.
    And I took me a good long look at Schaub’s stand up, he’s tall, and he doesn’t keep his hands quite high enough to protect his head. So, maybe his stand up isn’t as good as I thought, he’s just a little more coordinated and fluid with his strikes, unlike Forrest, who always looks awkward and uncoordinated.
    Still, I’m glad Nog won. I really like the guy. I wish he would have retired tho. He just got his body fixed. Probably fixed as best as it’s ever gonna get fixed, adn he’s gonna go out here and get it damaged more to the point where he will walk with a permanent limp before it’s all over.
    40 fights. Hometown KO. Respected family name. What better way to retire? Now, I’m afraid he’s gonna go out like Liddel, beat down to nothing until your forced to retire because they won’t give you any more fights.
    Nog isn’t likely to get the belt again, if he does, I’ll be screaming louder for his retirement because he won’t keep it long, and I’m not gonna like the beating he takes losing it.
    As for Schaub? he might as well settle into a gate keeper spot, he’s no champion unless he drastically changes how he fights.
    In fuggin credible that Nog was even able to fight with such extensive surgeory. He may not be champion. But he’s the absolute toughest human being I’ve ever heard of.
    What do you mean he got run over by a truck when he was a kid, and now he’s a full contact mma fighter? What do you mean he had 5 months of physical rehabilitation on crutches before his fight with a 20 yr old HW?
    I think this calls for a replacement of the household saying “tough as nails”. It should now be stated as “tough as Noguera”