MMA legend Antonio Rogerio Nogueira's twin brother and UFC executive Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira revealed that he thought 'Minotouro' would call it a day on his fighting career after the fighter pulled out from a scheduled bout with Trevor Smith owing to a back injury, but that wasn't to be the case.
However, it seems that it won't be long before we see a legend of the game walk into the sunset. Ahead of his trilogy fight against familiar foe and former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua set to take place at UFC 250 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on 9th May, 'Minotouro' claimed that the fight against Rua might very well be his last inside the Octagon. Coincidentally or not, Nogueira's UFC contract also expires post this fight.
“This fight will probably be the last fight of my career, my farewell fight. So being able to have this rematch with ‘Shogun’ is both challenging and motivating. I thank ‘Shogun’ for giving me this opportunity. I’m sure we’ll put on a great fight again.”
The first time Rua and Nogueira locked horns inside the cage was in 2005 and the pair rematched a decade later in 2015 in a couple of razor-close fights, both of which were clinched by 'Shogun' via decision. Nogueira knows that Shogun got the better of him the first couple of times, but he intends to have the last laugh in this storied rivalry.
“This fight with ‘Shogun’ makes lot of sense for me because we started it in 2005 with one of the most memorable fights in MMA history. That fight in 2005 was very, very close. I believe I had the advantage, but they gave it to him. But the fight we did in 2015, I won the first two rounds. He took me down in the third round, but that fight was mine. I contested that decision a lot and Dana White even promised me a rematch. Five years later, I have the opportunity to fight him again.”