Brazilian mixed martial arts legend and former Pride and UFC Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was once widely regarded as the No. 1 ranked heavyweight in the world.
Unfortunately, the most recent events of his career haven’t resulted in his favor. Rodrigo has dropped four of his last seven fights, and he has lost each of those bouts in a very grotesque fashion; being brutally knocked out twice, and having his arm broken another two times. Many fans would like the former champ to retire, but a recent interview with his manager has revealed that the thirty-seven year old is planning a 2014 return.
Rodrigo’s younger brother, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, has also had a string of bad luck lately. Even though he has done considerably well in his most recent fights, having dominated former light heavyweight champ Tito Ortiz in a first round TKO finish, and bested Rashad Evans, who is also a former UFC champ, in a unanimous decision, Rogerio has been plagued with reoccurring injuries that have hindered him from fighting. He was scheduled to fight Alexander Gustafsson on March 8th of next year, but had to pull out due to a lingering back injury. Despite his recent setbacks, Rodrigo is also planning on making a return to fighting in 2014.
In a recent interview with MMAJunkie.com, Ed Soares, the manager of both Nogueiras, talked about the two brothers and their 2014 plans.
“Nogueira is getting healthy and we’re going to see him fight in the first half of 2014 for sure,” Soares said about Rodrigo.
“Rogerio said he would have loved to take the fight, he would have loved to take the challenge because he feels that’s where he’s at in his career,” Soares said regarding Rogerio. “To fight a guy like Gustafsson, you have to be 100 percent and he didn’t want to take the risk of taking the fight and trying to fight through [the back injury] and then all of sudden not being able to fight and have to pull out of a main event.”
Soares added that Rogerio will likely fight sometime in May or June.