Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira has been a champion before, so he knows what it takes to be recognized as the best of the best. That is why he knew his student, Junior dos Santos, would eventually wear the UFC heavyweight title.
Dos Santos defeated Cain Velasquez in the main event of UFC on FOX 1 this past weekend, securing his first championship belt. Dos Santos scored a knockout in the opening round to claim the title.
“It couldn’t be better,” said Nogueira, in a recent interview with Tatame.com. “Junior went for it. He has the most dangerous hands in (the) business, a great knockout. Cain Velasquez kicked his injured leg, but he took it and knocked him out, bringing the heavyweight title to Brazil.”
It was reported after the bout that dos Santos tore his meniscus just days prior to the fight. He remained quiet about the injury, however, as he knew the importance of the fight with Velasquez.
“Angela Cortez worked hard with him for nine days because he couldn’t put his feet on the ground,” Nogueira said. “He was using the crutches to walk. He almost didn’t fight.”
Nogueira has an upcoming fight with Frank Mir planned for UFC 140 in December. Mir defeated “Big Nog” in 2008 via TKO.
“I did a training camp with Junior. I trained at the best training center (in) Brazil,” Nogueira said. “My hand is sharp and I’m confident. I train with the bests and let’s see what happens.”