Some wonder what is left to prove for former UFC interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. At age 37, “Big Nog” has fought a Who’s Who of tough guys, but now looks to be slowing down after losing 4 of his last 6 fights. But “Minotauro” isn’t done yet. While many expected the Roy Nelson loss to be his last fight, he’ll instead undergo surgery to repair a torn ACL before gearing for another run. Speaking to MMAFighting.com, Nogueira claims he’s not retiring:
“I want to recover and see what happens, but I want to fight. I was feeling great, had a great training camp for this fight. I was fast, but I couldn’t perform. I have to recover and start it all over again.”
Sounds easy, but anything more than a swan song bout and he might be pushing his luck. It’s always hard to tell when a fighter is doing more damage than good, but even UFC President Dana White didn’t expect to see Nogueira back in the octagon. As a promoter who stands to make money, that should speak volumes.
There aren’t a lot of fights that make sense here either. Maybe a bout with recently signed Andre Arlovski is of interest. Both men are no longer in their prime, but they’ve never fought and those of us who have been following the sport for so long could at least wax poetic about the past.