Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is one of the most decorated fighters in the sport of mixed martial arts, but it appears that it’s time for him to hang up his gloves and retire.
Following “Big Nog’s” unanimous decision loss to Stefan Struve at UFC 190 on Saturday night, UFC president Dana White said that it was time.
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“I love Big Nog, and I think everybody loves Big Nog. He’s such a good guy,” White said at the UFC 190 post-fight press conference in Rio de Janeiro. “He’s respected by everybody.
“(But) he and I actually talked tonight. I’m done. I don’t want to see him fight anymore.”
Nogueira has been threw some amazing battles in the ring and cage. He’s been fighting professionally since 1999 against the likes of Fedor Emelianenko, Dan Henderson, Mirko Cro Cop, Fabricio Werdum, Cain Velasquez, Randy Couture, Frank Mir, and countless others.
But even Nogueira agrees that it’s time to call it a career, according to White.
“He doesn’t disagree. He and I are going to get together and we’re going to talk,” White continued. “I’m probably going to give him the Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes, and Forrest Griffin deal. I’m going to bring him in and make him an employee.”
Like Liddell, Hughes, and Griffin, Nogueira would be a solid addition to the UFC staff. Following in their footsteps, as a UFC executive, Nogueira could be a brand ambassador and continue his mentoring of younger fighters in a more official capacity than he already does.
With him being Brazilian, he would also be the first fighter to take up such a role in one of the hottest regions of the world for the UFC.
Universally respected as a fighter and mentor, no one would argue that Nogueira would be a valuable addition.
Having fought through nearly two decades of thrilling battles, having won the old King of Kings tournament, having held heavyweight belts both in Pride and the UFC, Nogueira will be remembered for a career that spans one of the most transitional periods in mixed martial arts.
“@minotauromma is a living legend!!” said one of his managers, Ed Soares, on Instagram. “It has been an honor to work with such an incredible human being!! This guy has done everything in this sport!”
If he does call it a day, Nogueira will retire with an overall record of 34-10-1 with 1 no contest.
(Photo courtesy of Ed Soares – Instagram)