Former UFC and Pride FC Heavyweight Champion, Antonio Rodrigo Minotauro Nogueira (34-10-1) officially announced his retirement earlier today. He will now work in Brazil still with the UFC just not in a fighting aspect.
“‘Big Nog’ is a legend in the sport of MMA,” said UFC president Dana White. “He is respected by fighters and fans worldwide. It has been an honor to watch him compete and I’m happy to see him retire. He will be a huge asset to the UFC, the athletes and the sport as an ambassador. I look forward to working with him in this new chapter of his life.”
“I have mixed feelings,” Nogueira said. “I’m sad for leaving but happy with this new job in the UFC. I remember when I met [Junior dos Santos], he was brave in training, and before his UFC debut against the current champion Fabricio Werdum, I told Dana White to watch for his uppercut. And that’s how he beat him. I have good eyes for new talent, and I will look for new talents in this new generation.”
“I started fighting in 1999, and was at the top 3 of the division until 2008,” Nogueira said. “It’s an entire life. I have constant pain, fought guys heavier than this 265 pounds limit today. I love the training routine but I have to be 100 percent to fight.
“In my last training camp, I felt I was lacking something, the physical part, and it as a good time to stop. I wish I had come out with a win, but that’s not the most important.
“I’ve always had a passion to follow the development of new athletes and that’s what I intend to continue doing,” he added. “I want to help further the spread of MMA around the world and give my contribution to the emergence and development of young talent. I appreciate all the confidence that Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta and Frank Fertitta have in me, and I believe we will reach big results together. I know that I can, and will, contribute much to the growth of our sport outside of the Octagon.”
Big Nog was 2-5 in his last 7, and was on a 3 loss skidding spiral. A year shy of 40 most that are involved with the sport would agree with the legend’s decision.