Renowned Brazilian Jiu-jitsu practitioner and MMA legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is almost as notable for the fighters he has trained as he is his own MMA career. Chief among his pupils is the soon-to-be-legendary Anderson “The Spider” Silva, the UFC Middleweight Champion. Recently, Silva overcame the most adversity he has yet faced in his career when he fought brash challenger Chael Sonnen. Sonnen roughed Silva up for five rounds with a stifling wrestling attack before “The Spider” secured a last-minute triangle choke that forced Sonnen to submit. Nogueira recently told MMAAllStars.com (translated by MMAMania) that, as Silva’s trainer and friend that he is extremely proud of Silva for his performance at UFC 117.
“We were very worried with the injury but he made the right decision in fighting,” said Nogueira. “It seems like a joke but I posted this on Twitter. In the latest seconds before his entrance into the Octagon he embraced me and said, ‘Stay calm, master, I’m going to finish this fight.’ Anderson is a very dangerous athlete. He was trying that triangle in the second and forth rounds and almost knocked Sonnen out. No doubt those unprofessional statements by Chael made him even more thirsty. His high technique level and championship heart made him to finish the fight with just two minutes remaining to the end. Anderson made us full of pride.”
The injury Nogueira mentioned will keep Silva from displaying any more heart or jiu-jitsu for the remainder of 2010, a fate that “Minotauro” will likely experience himself. “Big Nog” was expected to rematch former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir this September 25th at UFC 119 but was forced to withdraw from that bout due to injury. According to Nogueira, he will be undergoing surgery to repair injuries to his hips and knee (ACL and meniscus) and will be out of action for at least six months.