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Tag: Minotauro

Big Nog’s Boxing Coach Calls For Rematch With Cro Cop; Filipovic says ‘Let’s Do It in Rio’


(Man, those were the days.)

Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic responded yesterday to recent comments Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s boxing coach Luis Dorea made in which the Brazilian trainer called for a rematch between his fighter and the Croatian PRIDE veteran.

Dorea told Tatame last week that he would love to see the two former PRIDE legends square off one more time before they retire and that the match-up would be a perfect first bout back for Nogueira, who has been sidelined several months after undergoing double-knee surgery in 2010.

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Couture vs. Nogueira Likely for UFC 101

Randy Couture UFC MMA
(Mickey Rourke prepares for his next role.)

The Natural and Minotauro — two legendary heavyweight champions whose last performances had fans wondering if their days of competing at the sport’s highest level were over. But later this year, one of them will triumph once again. MMA Weekly breaks it:

According to multiple sources from Couture’s camp, he has agreed to face Nogueira at the yet-unannounced UFC 101 sometime in August. The event may take place in Portland, Ore. The UFC is now awaiting a response from Nogueira’s camp.
 
Previously, Couture was offered a fight with Nogueira in the first half of 2009, but his role in Sylvester Stallone’s “The Expendables,” set to film in late March, got in the way. Couture was also rumored to be under consideration for UFC 99 in Cologne, Germany on June 13, but a source indicated he would be unable to complete a proper 8-week training camp and would not take the fight.
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Mir’s Fake Injuries vs. Nog’s Real Staph Infection

Frank Mir Antonio Rodrigo Minotauro Nogueira MMA UFC
(Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

Leading up to UFC 92, you may have heard some rumors that Frank Mir was battling injuries while preparing for his fight against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. We didn’t put any effort into discussing it because hey, the dude was going to lose anyway, right? Turns out that’s exactly what Mir wanted you to think. As he explained on a recent installment of TAGG Radio, a little media misinformation goes a long way:

"Every fighter gets injured a lot during training camps. One thing I’ve learned not to do is – I don’t really give any validity to my injuries. Some of my injuries are fake. I’ve faked a few injuries in the past but not to pull out of fights or anything. It’s just there are a lot of rumors out there, and when I hear them, I help people out. … ‘Go tell people and put it on the Internet.’ That way when a real, legitimate injury goes through, people question whether I’m really hurt or not."

So apparently Mir was as healthy as he could have hoped to be, and certainly fought like he was in the best shape of his life. Big Nog, on the other hand, wasn’t as lucky. During an appearance on the Carmichael Dave show, Dana White let the cat out of the bag:

"Nogueira had some other problems too going into [UFC 92]. Nogueira had just gotten over a Staph infection and he had some other problems…If you’re a professional athlete, time is not good to you. Time catches us all.”

Sad but true. And Dana could be implying that Nog is suffering from other maladies that won’t clear up as easily as a staph infection. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for ten years of being punched in the head.

Semi-related: Following UFC 92 and Dynamite!! 2008, our heavyweight, lightweight, and pound-for-pound Power Rankings lists have been updated.

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UFC 92 ‘Ultimate 2008′ Card Finalized

UFC 92 Griffin Evans Nogueira Mir Silva Jackson Rampage MMA Ultimate 2008
(Props: MMA Mania)

UFC 90 was profoundly disappointing, and UFC 91 doesn’t offer much outside of Randy vs. Brock, but the UFC promises to make up for it and then some with “The Ultimate 2008,” their stacked-to-death year-end card (December 27th, Las Vegas). The official lineup for the event was announced yesterday with the additions of Matt Hamill, C.B. Dollaway, Cheick Kongo, and Yushin Okami. Here’s what we’ll be seeing…

Main card
Forrest Griffin vs. Rashad Evans (for light-heavyweight championship)
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Frank Mir (for interim heavyweight championship)
CB Dollaway vs. Mike Massenzio (middleweights)
Wanderlei Silva vs. Quinton Jackson (light-heavyweights)
Cheick Kongo vs. Mustafa Al-Turk (heavyweights)

Undercard
Yushin Okami vs. Dean Lister (middleweights)
Antoni Hardonk vs. Mark Burch (heavyweights)
Matt Hamill vs. Reese Andy (light-heavyweights)
Ryo Chonan vs. Brad Blackburn (welterweights)
Dan Evensen vs. Pat Barry (heavyweights)

Why Dollaway vs. Massenzio gets a main card slot over Okami vs. Lister is anyone’s goddamned guess. But it’s hard to complain with those three headlining fights. Any early predictions? Remember, “The Ultimate 2008″ isn’t the only card the UFC is putting on in December — there’s also “Fight for the Troops” on December 10th in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and the TUF 8 finale on December 13th (location TBA). Both events will be aired on Spike.

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Exclusive Interview: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Minotauro MMA UFC
(Photo courtesy of MySpace.com/MinotauroBJJ)

This Wednesday at 10 p.m. on Spike TV, Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira begins his duel with Frank Mir on the season premiere of The Ultimate Fighter 8. The two heavyweight jiu-jitsu masters will each lead a team of eight UFC hopefuls (four lightweights and four light-heavyweights), while sizing each other up for their own fight in December; the winner will take on the winner of UFC 91′s Randy Couture/Brock Lesnar match sometime next year. Luiz De Souza chatted with Big Nog on Friday to get his thoughts on his TUF experience and the UFC’s upcoming “heavyweight tournament.”

***

CAGEPOTATO.COM: In some of the past seasons of The Ultimate Fighter, the coaches built up great rivalries. Was there ever any hostility between you and Frank Mir? Did he get on your nerves in any way?
ANTONIO RODRIGO NOGUEIRA: No, there wasn’t much of that; we have a lot of respect for each other. If there were arguments they were between the fighters themselves. I went there to do my job. I went to teach the guys, with the goal of not getting involved in fights with the guys inside the house or from the show, but to train them instead. That was my idea. I did my part and Frank did his. At times I was pissed at some of them because some of the guys were picking fights inside the house, and they would lose their control. There was one who wouldn’t quit picking fights, but overall nothing too major.

What do you think of Frank, as a person and as a fighter?
He is a good fighter, very strong, and he has great jiu-jitsu skills. He is also a very cool and nice guy, but he is my opponent, so I am training to fight him.

What’s your strategy going to be when you fight him in December? Would you rather fight him on the ground or standing?
There isn’t really a strategy; my strategy is to finish him. We don’t really choose if the fight will be standing up or on the ground. Whatever happens I will be ready for it.

After he lost to Forrest Griffin, Quinton Jackson partially blamed his performance on the fact that, because of The Ultimate Fighter, he’d gone 10 months between fights. Are you concerned that your own long layoff will affect your performance?
Well, the last time Frank Mir fought was the last time I fought, so the truth is that we both have the same disadvantage. I really don’t like to go such a long time without fighting; never in my life have I gone without fighting for this long. This does make a difference, but this is my job and I will fight when the day comes.

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Fabricio Werdum Inks 5-Fight Deal, Is Next in Line for HW Title

Andrei Arlovski Fabricio Werdum UFC MMA
(Werdum and Andrei Arlovski throw down at UFC 70.)

As the man responsible for de-hyping both Gabriel Gonzaga and Brandon Vera, Fabricio Werdum is riding high in the UFC’s heavyweight division. And to make sure he doesn’t slip away like Randy, Tim, and Andrei, the UFC has just locked him into a five-fight contract extension, with the promise of an immediate title shot if he wins his next fight. Sweetening the deal is the fact that his next fight might be a cakewalk for the well-seasoned and impossible to finish “Vai Cavalo” — he’ll compete at UFC 90 (October 25th, Chicago), possibly against Junior Dos Santos, a 6-1 vet of various Brazilian shows who’s probably not ready for the UFC yet.

Assuming he wins his next match, Werdum will then face either Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira or Frank Mir, who are expected to fight in late December. Werdum hopes Big Nog comes out victorious, telling Tatame:

“A fight against Minotauro would be like a dream. It would be great for me, because I fought against him at PRIDE and it was a great fight, he deserved the victory, and I want to say that I’m fighting for the belt against Minotauro, probably in March.”

Werdum is referring to his unanimous decision loss to Nogueira at PRIDE Critical Countdown Absolute in July 2006. Following that fight, Werdum choked out Aleksander Emelianenko then moved to the UFC where he lost another unanimous decision to Andrei Arlovski before knocking off Gonzaga and Vera.

Related: Heavyweight Power Rankings

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Full Translation of Anderson Silva’s New ‘Tatame’ Interview

Anderson Silva UFC MMA Dana White

This Tatame.com.br interview with Anderson Silva has been picking up some heat today over Silva’s statement that Lyoto Machida is the UFC’s true light-heavyweight champion, and that he doesn’t actually intend to make a run at the 205-pound title. (Dana White apparently didn’t get that memo.) The entire article seemed interesting, so we had our new Portuguese-speaking friend Luiz De Souza translate the entire thing for us. Enjoy.

***

Are you in Brazil or Las Vegas?
I’m in Brazil for a little more than a month. I’m here in Rio training.

What do you expect from this fight with James Irvin in the light-heavyweight division?
My training has been going pretty well. It’s a new experience that we are trying to do. I only train with people above my weight class, I have always trained this way. Lets wait and see how it goes. Coming out of my fights alive like I always do is something good, going back to my family is the most important thing. We made a chronogram of training and physical preparation, we studied it with some [knowledgeable] people, and we are going there to put it into practice, to see if everything we trained and innovated will work.

He said that you ran over the people from your weight class, and that he does not fear your game plan and that he will show you the reason why there are weight classes. What do you think of that?
I believe that weight classes exist for that reason, but when I used to fight in PRIDE there wasn’t a category up to 83kg (183lb) only 93kg (205lb), and I always fought in it. But I did not have the same physical and technical qualities I have today. It’s an experiment, we are doing it for many reasons, and one of them is because Dana White asked me to fight, and myself, along with my friends that help me a lot, have decided that it is doable. We’ll see, I will look to do my job like I have been doing regardless of the results, and I am going into it to test myself, to see if I can. If it turns out to be a positive result, it will mean that our experience plus our experiments worked. People own their own mouths, so he can say whatever he wants, and he is right about the reason for weight classes. I did not have the intention of going for this belt, this belt is Lyoto’s and he has proven that. I am going into this fight because I like to fight, I like challenges.

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Unsubstantiated Rumor of the Day

According to Canvas Chronicle, Tim Sylvia will face Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira at UFC 81 for the vacant heavyweight title. Feel free to harass the Chronicle’s editor Ric Gillespie (ric@canvaschronicle.com) until the bastard reveals his source.

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Classic Sh*t…

Bob Sapp vs. Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira, at PRIDE Shockwave (8/28/02).

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