Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was disappointed when his injured arm forced him out of a planned fight with Cheick Kongo earlier this year. But, the decision turned into a blessing in disguise when he was asked to step in and face Dave Herman at UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar.
That’s because the bout will go down October 13 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, giving “Minotauro” another chance to compete in front of his devoted Brazilian fans. Nogueira suffered a nasty arm injury in a loss to Frank Mir last year.
“I am feeling good, very strong on the arm and ready to go,” said Nogueira, during a conference call on Thursday. “I am hungry to fight. I have been asking the UFC to fight, now I got a chance to fight in Brazil.”
Nogueira (33-7-1) has competed just once in his native country, defeating Brendan Schaub via first round knockout. “Big Nog” spent the majority of his early career fighting in Japan for Pride before joining the UFC in 2007.
With the extended time off, Nogueira said he has worked to improve his already-impressive Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills, adding, “for this fight, I have trained a lot of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.”