Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko (26-5) is well on his way to healing up after sustaining an injury prior to his UFC 133 bout with Alexander Gustafsson.
According to Matyushenko’s management, the light heavyweight is expected to fight before the end of 2011. Who the Belarusian fighter will face is still up in the air, but a desire to have a third match-up with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (19-5) lingers as unfinished business.
“We always wanted Rogerio Nogueira,” MMAWeekly.com learned from Nima Safapour, a member of Matyushenko’s management team at Alchemist Management. “It’s a fight that makes sense for both guys.”
Mayushenko and Nogueira have met each other twice before. The first meeting was in Japan back in 2002, where the two went the distance and Matyushenko got the nod by unanimous decision. Seven years later, the two met again, this time on American soil at Affliction: Day of Reckoning in January of 2009. Nogueira got his payback and won the fight via knockout in the latter moments of the second round.
A third match-up between the 205-pounders seems like fight that makes sense, according to Matyushenko’s management. In fact, they think it’s a great idea and they’d like to see it happen soon.
It’s Matyushenko’s goal to fight for a championship, and not only is fighting “Lil’ Nog” a step in that direction, but it will close a chapter in his career that opened nearly a decade ago.
The end of the saga needs to happen.
“First of all about Vladimir Matyushenko, his goal is the championship, but he also wants great fights,” Safapour explained. “He fought Rogerio and beat him decisively in their first bout. And despite the fact he beat him decisively, he granted him a rematch and Rogerio won the rematch fair and square with Vladimir having a very, very serious injury. So, we want to fight the final chapter to that story.”
Both Nogueira and Matyushenko were scheduled to compete on the UFC 133 fight card that took place recently in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, both were injured prior to the evening of fights and unable to compete. As both fighters recover from the injuries holding them out of the Octagon, one has to wonder if a third duel between the two will happen in the near future.
If Matyushenko has it his way, he’ll get his chance to bring an end to his Nogueira trilogy before the calendar turns to 2012.