Brendan Schaub Mirko Cro Cop” src=”http://www.deliberationroom.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Brendan-Schaub-vs.-Cro-Cop-fight-pic.jpg” alt=” width=”500″ height=”339″ />
(On the bright side, at least Mirko’s foot didn’t twist around 180 degrees this time.)
Following a year’s worth of layoffs due to surgery on his knee and hips, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira announced this weekend that he’d be returning to action at UFC 134 (aka ‘UFC Rio‘) on August 27th. He didn’t name an opponent, but said that he’s “looking forward to fighting in the co-main event.” His longtime training partner Anderson Silva will be headlining the show against Yushin Okami.
“We are lobbying daily for the fight,” said Schaub’s manager Lex McMahon in a text to ESPN.com. “As of now, we have not been offered the fight. We are optimistic that if [Nogueira] is healthy, Brendan has a good shot to be his opponent in Brazil…Also, I’m a huge Cro Cop fan and have tremendous respect for him, but it seems a stretch that Cro Cop would fight [Nogueira] in Brazil after Brendan knocked him out with one of the most vicious KOs I’ve ever seen. Brendan is one of the most dominant fighters in the division and we’re hopeful the UFC will reward him with the great honor of fighting in Rio.”
Schaub has racked up four-consecutive victories in the Octagon, establishing himself as a serious heavyweight contender with his recent wins over Cro Cop and Gabriel Gonzaga. Nogueira would be another big-name feather in the Hybrid’s cap — and there’s no better time to challenge him than when he’s coming off a battery of injuries and surgeries. Very clever, Brendan.
Of course, the UFC might set Big Nog up with a less dangerous opponent if they want the Brazilian legend to pick up a comeback victory on his home turf. And if that’s the case, we just might see Cro Cop going through the motions one last time.