Another of the sport’s legendary fighters has decided it’s time to step away from the cage, as Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira has announced he’s retiring from pro MMA at the age of 39.
Following Nogueira’s decision loss to Stefan Struve last month, UFC boss man Dana White relayed that he would push “Minotauro” in the retirement direction. White also said he was going to offer Nogueira a job.
Well, the UFC has announced that Nogueira has become the athlete relations ambassador for the promotion in his native Brazil. In the official announcement relaying Nogueira’s retirement, and his new position, he was quoted saying:
“It’s a great pleasure and an honor for me to further my ties with the UFC. I’ve always had a passion to follow the development of new athletes and that’s what I intend to continue doing. I want to help further the spread of MMA around the world and give my contribution to the emergence and development of young talent. I appreciate all the confidence that Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta and Frank Fertitta have in me, and I believe we will reach big results together. I know that I can, and will, contribute much to the growth of our sport outside of the Octagon.”
The announcement also included the following comments from White:
“‘Big Nog’ is a legend in the sport of MMA,” said White. “He is respected by fighters and fans worldwide. It has been an honor to watch him compete and I’m happy to see him retire. He will be a huge asset to the UFC, the athletes and the sport as an ambassador. I look forward to working with him in this new chapter of his life.”
So, there you have it. The news isn’t surprising, considering Nogueira’s age and the fact he’s gone 1-4 in his last 5 fights. It is, however, the end of a glorious career. After all, we are talking about a man who won PRIDE’s heavyweight title, and the UFC’s interim belt during his 15 plus year career. Some of Nogueira’s greatest hits include his timeless victories over Mirko “Cro Cop”, Bob Sapp, Tim Sylvia and Heath Herring, among others.
Nogueira’s new job will involve him working as a liaison for the UFC with athletes, sponsors, media and government officials. He’ll also be a mentor for up-and-coming fighters.
“Big Nog” finished his career armed with a record of (34-10-1).