Following his knockout loss to Roy Nelson in April, it remains to be seen when and who Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will fight next, but the legendary heavyweight has an old foe in mind.
Although Nogueira is 2-3 in his last 5 scraps, and has undergone several surgeries during that time, the 38 year-old’s made it clear he’s not ready to hang up the gloves just yet. Before he retires, “Minotauro” apparently wants to take another shot at a man who’s already beat him twice, Mr. Frank Mir.
“I’m ‘choking’ about his last win. I want to fight against him again, for sure, face him and impose my pace. I want this bout for 2015, this is my plan.”
“What would he have to gain is a win in his career. He needs it. He won’t be fight against a ‘nobody’. It would be interesting for me and for him. I won’t give him a easy fight. If he wants to test his skills, I’ll give him a tough task.”
If you recall, “Big Nog” had Mir in a ton of trouble during their second fight. but the latter turned things around in brutal fashion, and ended up breaking Nogueira’s arm with a kimura. In their first meeting, back in 2008, Mir put the decorated fighter away with strikes. So, since Mir has already finished Nogueira twice, you can likely understand why he stated the following:
“I’ll give him this opportunity but I have to make sure that I’ll have something to gain, since I won two fights and he won none of them. As long as there is something for me to take out of this situation, I would like to fight him again. No problem.”
As Nogueira noted, Mir does need a win, as the feared submission artist has dropped four straight bouts now. Most recenly, at UFC 169 in February, he fell by unanimous decision to Alistair Overeem (who has also been struggling). Although Mir has been facing top tier guys, as his other recent losses came against Daniel Cormier, Junior dos Santos and Josh Barnett, another loss would be a massive setback for the 35 year-old.
So, will the UFC look into this? It could depend on what exactly Mir means by “something to gain”, and just how much that might be. Ordinarily, you would think the UFC would pass on this fight, but since “Minotauro” is such a huge star in Brazil, Nogueira-Mir III could move some serious tickets in the South American nation…