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Report: Nogueira May Be Next Opponent for Couture

According to Fox Sports Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria may be Randy Couture’s next opponent. Here’s a clip from the report:

While not confirmed, UFC officials after the fight were talking about another Brazilian, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, the former Pride heavyeight champion, as Couture’s next opponent.

Couture, on the other hand, wants to face Fedor Emelianenko in his next bout:

Couture, who rarely asks for a specific opponent, wants a match with Fedor Emelianenko, generally considered the world’s best heavyweight. Negotiations between Dana White and Emelianenko’s representatives have gone hot and cold over the past two months, but they have another meeting scheduled for the next week.

While the report lacks any certainty a fight with Fedor or Nogueira would present another very tough test for the current UFC Heavyweight Champion.

Nogueira holds a stellar 30-4-1 record and is 6-1 in his last 7 fights. In his UFC debut “Minotauro” defeated Heath Herring by unanimous decision to set up a possible match for the title.

Emelianenko, the most sought after MMA free agent, has just one loss compared to his 26 wins. Emelianenko has defeated many of MMA’s biggest names including Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and Nogueira but has yet to fight in the UFC. A special clause in his contract with PRIDE allowed him to fight for Bodog Fight earlier this year in Russia. Emelianenko defeated Matt Lindland via armbar submission and has been locked in contract negotiations with the UFC ever since.

At this point Nogueira seems like the most likely possibility for the fight simply because the negotiations with Fedor have showed no signs of moving forward anytime soon. However if a deal is struck with the Russian mixed martial artist in the near term it is expected that Emelianenko will receive an immediate shot at the heavyweight title.

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