“Little Nog” Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has been in the fight game for over 15 years at this point, but has no plans in the near future of following suit with his brother.
“Big Nog” Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira retired from MMA in 2015 after a legendary career, but his younger brother still has aspirations and plans to keep going with goals of creeping his way back up the rankings and getting that UFC title.
“I felt (the pressure) a lot when my brother retired/ ’What about you? Are you retiring?’” Nogueira said, via MMAjunkie. “People wanted to retire me. But last year I did a good fight (against Mauricio Rua). This year I did an even better one (against Patrick Cummins). It confirmed that I could still train. I could still compete at a high level.”
Nogueira is set to face Ryan Bader in the main event of UFC Fight Night 100 where he will get a chance to uplift his ranking status, as well as redeem a 2010 loss.
“It’s a dangerous fight. But now I’ve been very focused on takedown defense, and I think the best way of defending yourself against a guy like Bader is attacking him first. Not wait. If you wait too much, he’ll get in and take it. So you need to keep hitting him, walk around, impose and hit harder so he’ll respect you – not move forward too much and take you down.
“(In the first fight) I think I managed to impose the perfect fight against him in the third round. The first and second rounds, I let him fight too much. (The strategy would) be a fight similar to what I did in the third round.”
Beating Bader would just be one step along the way for Nogueira after he sunk in the rankings following some injuries that kept him out of action.
“I was in the top five (of the UFC rankings), but then I got injured that time I was supposed to fight Gustafsson,” Nogueira said. “They removed me from the rankings. I was sad. They put me there in 15th, 20th, but then I came back slowly, did a good fight with ‘Shogun,’ went up to 15, and then after Cummins I went to 10th and ninth. Now I want to get back to the top five then to the top three and hopefully have the title shot I dream of.”