(Video courtesy of YouTube/Kimura.se)
Our friends at Kimura.se caught up with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira recently and among other things, asked the former PRIDE and UFC interim heavyweight champion his thoughts on the potential superfight between his student, friend and training partner, UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva and welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. Not surprisingly, Big Nog’ picked his homeboy to win the fight, but he was very complimentary of GSP, calling the French-Canadian the best wrestler in the sport.
“Very good match, you know? I hope that it’s gonna be in Brazil so Brazilian people get to see a Brazilian idol fight in his country. Georges St-Pierre is a very good wrestler. He can try to stop Anderson Silva with wrestling, but Anderson’s a very good black belt in jiu-jitsu, man. He’s got long legs and it’s not surprising if he submits Georges St-Pierre on the ground,” Minotauro explains. “And his reach is longer. Anderson Silva is a better striker and he’s got a power punch….the striking punch and kick like you guys saw [in the Belfort fight] and knees. So I think Anderson Silva’s got more weapons. I know, Georges St-Pierre is a good wrestler. He’s easily the best wrestler in the game. He can give you a hard time, but Anderson’s got more chances to knock him out for sure.”
When asked about the popular opinion that Chael Sonnen exposed a chink in Silva’s seemingly impenetrable armor by using wrestling to take “The Spider” out of his striking element, Nogueira said that the only reason “that other guy” did so well in the fight was because he was on steroids and Anderson was injured heading into the bout.
“I hope he’s not on steroids like the other guy used to be. Like I know Georges St-Pierre, he won’t be on these steroids, OK? He’s a clean fighter, but the other guy, he was unfortunately on steroids, making him better. Also, Anderson got a broken hip….er, rib for this fight. He was training with a Japanese world champion one week before his fight and he broke his rib. I saw it. We went to the hospital,” Nogueira recalls. “He was supposed to fight…to corner Mark Munoz one week before the fight and he couldn’t go because he got injured really bad. I think that’s what happened this fight. The other guy was “more than strong” and Anderson was broke. So it’s not….for Anderson it was not a good day, you know? He was injured. It’s not a thing that’s gonna happen every day, you know? ”