For the first-time ever, Indianapolis will get a taste of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir and former interim UFC heavyweight champion and mixed martial arts legend Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira will mix it up for an encore performance on Saturday, September 25 at UFC 119: Mir vs. Nogueira 2, live from the Conseco Field House in Indianapolis, Indiana. Also featured on the card, Nogueira’s twin brother and light heavyweight force Antonio Rogerio Nogueira will take on two-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler turned undefeated fighter Ryan Bader. Then it’s a rematch of The Ultimate Fighter: The Comeback finale as former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra takes on one of Indianapolis’ own in Chris “Lights Out” Lytle.
“Ever since Frank Mir beat Nogueira for the heavyweight title in 2008, Minotauro has asked me for this rematch because he wants to prove that the first fight was a fluke,” said UFC President Dana White. “On September 25th, he gets his wish, and I don’t think there’s any fighter more motivated than he is to even the score. As for Frank Mir, he wants to get back in the title picture, and if I know him, he was the first man to knock Nogueira out at UFC 92, and now he’ll want to be the first man to make him tap out.”
Before his impressive knockout win over Nogueira at UFC 92 in December 2008, Frank Mir won two straight fights via submission over UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and Antoni Hardonk. The former UFC heavyweight champion looked to be on track for another title shot after he put Cheick Kongo to sleep at UFC 107, but the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt fell short against Shane Carwin in March. Now the 31-year-old faces a familiar foe and he is hoping that lightning strikes twice as he gets back in the title race.
After a historic run in PRIDE, Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira entered the Octagon for the first time in 2007 and earned two straight victories, including a submission win over Tim Sylvia that made him the first and only man to ever hold both the PRIDE and UFC world heavyweight titles. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt most recently dropped a fight to No. 1 heavyweight contender Cain Velasquez, but with a classic unanimous decision win against UFC Hall-Of-Famer Randy Couture at UFC 102, the 34-year-old can never be counted out.
For the first-time ever, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira) will fight on the same UFC card as his twin brother. Known for having heavy hands as well as a deadly ground game, the Brazilian is dangerous wherever the fight goes. It took the light heavyweight only 1:56 to TKO the battle-tested Luiz Cane in his UFC debut last November before earning a split-decision victory against Jason Brilz in May. Now Nogueira faces his toughest UFC test to date in Ryan Bader.
Undefeated light heavyweight Ryan Bader has rattled off four consecutive victories since joining the UFC. The former two-time NCAA Division I All-American from Arizona State is coming off a breakthrough knockout at UFC 110 against MMA veteran Keith Jardine that catapulted him into serious contention for the 205-pound strap. Now the 27-year-old will go against an extremely talented opponent that is looking to get into the championship picture himself.
A true Rocky story come to life, Long Island’s Matt Serra is most famous for his underdog knockout win against UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 69 to earn the 170-pound championship. Serra, the first American-born black belt under the legendary Renzo Gracie, most recently earned a first-round win over Frank Trigg at UFC 109 and now looks to climb back up the ladder with a win against hometown fighter Chris Lytle.
Winner of his last three fights, the red-hot Chris Lytle is coming off two impressive submission victories over Brian Foster and Matt Brown. A fighter that is known for exciting fights and who has the “Fight of the Night” bonus checks to prove it, Lytle will be fighting in a UFC event in front of his home crowd for the first time. A former pro boxer turned mixed martial artist, the 35-year-old family man is a firefighter in his spare time and now looks to avenge his loss to old friend Matt Serra.