Two days after UFC president Dana White was shaking his head during the UFC 141 conference call wondering aloud what ever possessed Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to opt to try to choke out a rocked Frank Mir rather than finish him up on the ground with punches during their UFC 140 bout a week and a half ago, and “Big Nog” has offered an explanation. According to the former PRIDE star and one-time interim UFC light heavyweight champion, referee Herb Dean made him switch gears when he told him his punches were illegal.
Here’s what Minotauro posted on his official website:
“Last Saturday I fought and lost via submission for the first time in my career; it was a bad feeling, but it’s part of the sport. Everything that happens in a fight is quick and the fighter acts most based on his instincts and reflexes than [what's] on his mind. I knew I made a mistake as I tried to submit [my opponent] on a fight where I could have won by KO,” Nogueira wrote. “But when Frank Mir was practically knocked out I heard the referee tell me to stop punching him at the neck and that is when I tried to choke him. Mir put himself together and must be congratulated for submitting me. I checked the videos and I wasn’t hitting him on the neck, but on Mir’s side of the head, which is allowed.”
In spite of Dana’s obvious disappointment with Nogueira’s lapse of judgment in the fight, he says that the UFC president has made sure that he had the best surgeons available to operate on his arm, which took place Monday as well.
“But I’m not here to apologize. I lost. I’ll recover from my arm injury and then move on, probably on the second UFC Rio of 2012. The good thing about the loss was that I got many supporting messages, and I really thank the great treatment that the boss (Dana White) gave mein Canada. Dana used to tell me ‘Nog we’re not sparing any expense, you’ll have the best experts so you come back soon and well. I’m sure I’ll still fight for many years. I fight because I like it and I feel I’m in one of the best moments of my career.”
Noguiera had a titanium plate and 16 screws installed to stabilize the broken humerus bone while it heals. It’s likely that the plate will remain even after the fusion is complete.