Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira returned to action last night in Abu Dhabi, looking to reignite his glory years at Fight Night 39 against Roy Nelson. Unfortunately for ‘Big Nog’, he was the recipient of a brutal first round knockout, courtesy of a ‘Big Country’ right hand. The KO marks the second fight in a row that Nogueira has been finished.
Before joining the UFC back in 2007, Nogueira had only lost four times, and had never been stopped in competition. Since that time, ‘Minotauro’ has lost five fights, and all have been stoppages. Frank Mir shocked the world when he TKO’d ‘Big Nog’ at UFC 92, and then submitted the former Pride champion three years later at UFC 140.
Time waits for no man in MMA, and perhaps last night was a sign that the game has just passed Nogueira by. It’s sad to say, as ‘Big Nog’ is a great fighter with a huge heart. Is it really necessary for the 37 year old to take any more punishment? With a title run looking unlikely at this point, should Nogueira call it quits on a legendary career?