Antonio Nogueira lost this past weekend at UFC on Fuel TV 10. He was defeated by top 5 heavyweight Fabricio Werdum. Does he have what it takes to compete with the elite of the division or is it best for him to retire now?
Nogueira will always be considered a true legend and pioneer in mixed martial arts. That will never be taken away from him, but the fact remains that he’s not any had back-to-back victories in over five years and the division is now the strongest it’s ever been. Long gone are the days when fighters Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski had complete control over the division. More versatile fighters like Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez are taking over the division.
Some people are asking for him to face lesser competition so he can end his career with a victory. The only problem is that would certainly detract from his legacy should he be unsuccessful. The best thing for him to do now is likely to retire with grace and dignity. He’s 37 years old and has had over 40 career bouts. That’s plenty of wear and tear on a fighter who’s only competed with the division’s best.
Nogueira has nothing to prove. He’s a former Interim UFC and Pride Heavyweight champion. His accolades will likely be remembered by MMA fans forever. He’s a shoe in for the hall of fame and should continue to coach at Team Blackhouse and Noguiera, but unfortunately his best days in the octagon are now behind him.