The UFC is close to signing light heavyweight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, according to his twin brother and former UFC interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who announced the signing during today’s UFC 102 media call for his main event bout against Randy Couture.
“[The UFC] talked to him, they’re dealing with my brother,” said Rodrigo Nogueira on Tuesday’s UFC 102 media call. “For sure he’s coming to the UFC…They’ve almost closed the deal.”
An official announcement of the signing is expected soon, and with Rogerio Nogueira previously preparing for a September 12 fight in Brazil, his debut in the 205-pound division is possible by year’s end.
Nogueira (17-3), who is also known by his nicknames “Minotoro” and “Little Nog”, is currently riding a five-fight win streak that includes victories over Edwin Dewees and Vladimir Matyushenko at Affliction’s two MMA events, as well as his most-recent win in May over Dion Staring.
With victories over notables Dan Henderson and Alistair Overeeem, and just three losses to Matyushenko, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Nogueira could make an immediate impact in the UFC’s premiere light heavyweight division.