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Nogueira May Debut Against Vera

There is a rumor circulating that was picked up by Sam Caplan that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, the UFC’s most recent heavyweight signing, may debut against Brandon Vera. Here’s what Sam had to say:

“This is total rumor, but I’ve been hearing a lot of talk that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s first UFC fight could be against Brandon Vera. Take that for what it’s worth. I’m trying to get some sort of official confirmation.”

This would be a huge match as it could propel the winner almost straight to the top of the line for a shot at the heavyweight title. Although a relative unknown to a majority of UFC fans (especially before being introduced at UFC 69) Nogueira (29-4-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has a strong record behind him. He last fought at Pride Shockwave on new years eve topping Josh Barnett via unanimous decision.

Vera (8-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) has one fight left on his prior contract before a new agreement will be signed to keep him with the UFC. He last fought in November when he beat former champion Frank Mir at UFC 65.

This match could be added to any of a number of upcoming UFC events, particularly UFC 73 which is in need of another marquee bout after Sean Sherk’s title defense was moved to UFC 74.

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