Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, also known as Big Nog and Minotauro, is undeniably one of the greatest heavyweight fighters of all time, but suffered his third loss in his last four fights via a deadly right hand by heavy hitting Roy Nelson. Once known for his ability to absorb heavy blows, Nogueira’s chin has since been conquered three times since joining the UFC after his only losses were via decision for the most part of his career.
Joining the promotion with a staggering record of 29-4 (1 NC), Nogueira has only managed to accumulate a 5-5 record inside the Octagon and his five losses have all come by way of finish. With two submissions, both of which came via armbar, and three knockout losses – the most recent of which coming on Friday, which was also the most brutal – the mystique of Nogueira being hard to finish is no longer apparent.
Now may be time for ‘the talk’, which Dana White has sensibly had with the likes of Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes in the past. Though Nogueira may not go out on a high, he will save himself from further damage. Watching a once-incredible fighter with an unconquerable chin get knocked out in such devastating fashion should lead to retirement, in my eyes.
Minotauro is one of the greatest heavyweights in MMA history and should be remembered for his incredible battles in Pride, but during his run in the UFC, he has found comparatively smaller success. Albeit he became interim champion, his inconsistency in the Octagon is surprising when looking at his performances in Pride.
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