The UFC’s “big” addition so far this year was the signing of heavyweight contender Antonio “Big Nog” Nogueira. Nog first appeared at UFC Fight Night 9 earlier this year causing buzz that a signing had already happened or was going to very soon. The signing did indeed happen as he was introduced days later at UFC 69.
UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva apparently played a large role in getting Nogueira his contract with the UFC. Here’s what he said in a recent interview:
“Anderson Silva got me in contact with Dana White about four months ago. But the proposal was made when I went to UFC Fight Night to help Roan Carneiro.I have to thank Anderson Silva, it was his idea and his manager Eddie also helped a lot. Iâ€™m 30 years old and able to negotiate my own stuffs I know what is good to me, BTT is an excellent place for me to train but I got this contract thru Anderson Silva and his manager.”
After the signing however rumors were raised that Nogueira didn’t talk to Brazilian Top Team about the move and that he was no longer in the organization. Nogueria countered that things are just fine with BTT and that he simply couldn’t get a hold of anyone with the team in the window he had to sign the contract and get into the UFC. Here are Nogueira’s comments on the situation:
“I didnâ€™t take any decision to leave BTT. Iâ€™m waiting Master Murilo Bustamante arrives from ADCC. As soon as he arrives we will talk and set everything up. What happened is that I got the invitation of Mr. Dana White and couldnâ€™t get in contact with BTT people before sign the contract, but I know it will be good to me and, if they are together with me, it will be good for them too.”
The highly anticipated debut of Big Nog will come this summer at UFC 73 when he will square off against “The Texas Crazy Horse” Heath Herring.
For more on UFC 73 check out our UFC rumors section.