Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira has been waiting for some time now to get a rematch with Frank Mir.
After coaching against each other on The Ultimate Fighter, Mir claimed the interim UFC heavyweight title by defeating Nogueira via TKO – the first stoppage loss of his long career.
Now, though, after stunning Brendan Schaub in his native Brazil, Nogueira (33-6-1) gets his chance to exact revenge on Mir when the two collide in December at UFC 140.
“It’s a good fight…I’m in a row after this last win, I’ll be a lot motivated,” Nogueira told Tatame.com while helping train Junior dos Santos in San Diego, California this past week. “It’s been great, we’re doing an excellent job and I believe I’ll be better on this fight. I believe in it.”
Nogueira rebounded from the Mir loss to defeat Randy Couture, but he was stopped a second time in his career by current UFC champion Cain Velasquez in early 2010.
“Big” Nog now feels completely healthy and ready to go after undergoing a hip surgery and two knee surgeries in the past year.
As for that night against Mir in 2008, Nogueira can admit that Mir deserved the win, despite Nogueira suffering from a staph infection.
“He was better, I couldn’t impose my game and find the right distance to play…He did good, surprised me, but this defeat motivates me to train and do different things so I can beat this guy up,” Nogueira said. “It order to use my jiu-jitsu I gotta take him down, be good at wrestling…There’s many to do before fighting on the ground, and I want to be ready for anything, and that includes trading punches. I’ll be even better then.”
Nogueira’s brother, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, will be on the same card, as he meets Tito Ortiz. UFC 140 takes place December 10 from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.