Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira says he is always better the Second Time AroundPosted on July 16, 2010, 09:34 PM by Joey Santosus
UFC heavyweight Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira (32-6-1) recently spoke out about his upcoming rematch with Frank Mir (13-5-0) at UFC 119. The two former champions first met back at UFC 92, and though Mir was victorious that night, Nogueira explained that his performance is always better the second time he meets an opponent.
“I feel it’s a good fight for me. The last time I was unable to put on a good performance and this time I’ll be able to show up better. It’s a match I’ve been wanting the whole time, and it materialized. I’ve lost a few fights in my career, but I was always given a rematch, and I always put in a better showing the second time around. I’ll try and do the same this time. I’ll be ready for anything.”
Following their first bout, questions were raised regarding Nogueira's health heading into the match, as the Brazilian was hospitalized just days before they met due to a staph infection. Mir, who took exception to the post-fight questions, felt his victory over the legend was being discredited. Whatever the case, a healthy "Minotauro" will get his chance to settle the score.
“It’s hard to foresee what will happen in a fight like this one, if just because Frank’s good at fighting both standing and on the ground. I’ll have to get a sense of what to do in the fight. If it ends up on the ground, I’ll like it; if it plays out standing, I’ll like it too. I’ll be ready for anything.”
Also scheduled to fight at UFC 119 is younger brother, Antonio Rogerio "Minotoro" Nogueira (19-3-0), who will face undefeated light heavyweight Ryan Bader (11-0-0). "Minotoro" is coming off a close split decision win over Jason Brilz at UFC 114. Speaking on his younger brother's match, Rodrigo was confident.
“I trained him for three months at the UFC house (The Ultimate Fighter) and he won it. I like the kid, he has a heavy hand, but I feel Rogério is more experienced and has better grappling and striking. As far as wrestling goes, he’s better, but Rogério is going through a really good phase and he wants a shot at the title.”
Nogueira will be looking to get back on track in September following his last outing at UFC 110, where he faced current number one contender Cain Velasquez. Velasquez was able to best the veteran by TKO just two minutes and twenty seconds into round one.