Former interim UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira received a warm ovation from the Brazilian crowd that turned out for the weigh-ins Friday for UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar. That reaction will probably double by the time “Minotauro” steps inside the Octagon Saturday to face Dave Herman.
Nogueira will be making his first appearance back inside the cage since a loss to Frank Mir last year. The Herman bout marks just the second professional fight for Nogueira in his native country.
“Here in Brazil, we have a lot of support,” said Nogueira, during the Fuel TV weigh-in show Friday. “It is my hometown. My gym is one mile from the arena, so I love to fight here. I love the crowd in the UFC, and it’s amazing to fight in Vegas, but here I don’t take it as pressure; I take it as support.”
An arm injury kept Nogueira on the sidelines, as he was forced to cancel a fight with Cheick Kongo earlier this year. He said the arm is “stronger,” and that he’ll be in “shape and I’ll throw a good show.”