Fight Night 24: Has Little Nog been highly underrated ahead of this weekend’s clash against Phil Davis?

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is a true veteran in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts and one of the few guys in the game that has come from the “old school” still competing at the highest level. Many of us are already familiar with his famous twin brother “Big Nog” Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, but there are many casual fans out there that are not familiar with “Lil Nog”.

In a career that spans 10+ years he has beaten the likes of Guy Mezger, Kazushi Sakuraba, and Alistair Overeem (twice). He has fought in five different nations, but is best known for his stint in PRIDE FC, and was a fan favorite like his brother. Aside from his accomplishments in MMA, he is a proud Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, and high caliber amateur boxer. Not bad for a guy who hasn’t won a major world title.

For majority of his Mixed Martial Arts career, he has had a very consistent fight record. With 23 professional bouts, Nogueira holds a record of 19-4. His four losses are against the likes of Vladimir Matyushenko, Mauricio Rua, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, and Ryan Bader. Lil Nog will be going up against undefeated prospect “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis at UFC Fight Night 24.

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Phil Davis has the skill set and qualities of a future champion. NCAA Division One wrestling, solid ground game, and impressive stand up makes him a force to be reckoned with in the Light-Heavyweight division. Phil has yet to be truly challenged and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is a perfect test, however he won’t be easy by any means.  

Not only does Nogueira beat Phil Davis in the experience department, Lil Nog has some of the best boxing in MMA, and is more than capable to submit the young up and comer. On a side note, the two have trained together before in the past, but I don’t believe it was enough to truly get a feel for each other’s game.

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If Phil is going to win this fight, he needs to overpower Nogueira with his wrestling and strength. He doesn’t want to stand with an iron chin and good hands; he also doesn’t want to put Nogueira on his back where he likes it. Phil Davis’ chances in this fight are very good, but never count out Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in a fight. I don’t see this fight going past three rounds, someone will get finished. With some solid takedown defense, Lil Nog could give Davis his first career loss. Unless Phil Davis can emulate Ryan Bader’s performance, I don’t see Nogueira losing.

Photos: ESPN | All Elbows