Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira: Minotauro
Today were are going to talk about another MMA legend: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, the Brazilian Minotauro. One of the legends of the MMA Golden Age, Big Nog is well known for his incredible grappling and submission skills. Minotauro is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is one of the most successful and popular MMA fighters, recording 34 wins, out which 21 by submission.
The legendary Brazilian is well known for being one of the toughest and most resilient fighters in MMA history. Minotauro Nogueira is known that he never gives up, always waiting for the decisive moment. Big Nog always amazed the crowd with his ability to absorb tremendous punishment during matches, and then to surprisingly come back and finish his opponents in the last seconds of the match. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is the first fighter that won both Pride heavyweight title and UFC heavyweight title.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira has a history of excellence in ground battle, starting practicing Judo at the age of 4 and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the age of 18 years old. His ability to sustain punches and kicks is due to the fact that Big Nog also practiced boxing since he was 14 years old. Minotauro’s lower back scar is due the fact that Nogueira was hit by a truck when he was 10. His resilience and strong will was demonstrated at that moment because Minotauro Nogueira was in coma for 4 days, lost a rib and a big part of his liver. Rodrigo fought his most important battle of his life in that days. After 11 months in hospital, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira decided to focus on contact sports and earned a 4-dan black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a black belt in Judo.
Big Nog started his mixed martial arts career in 1999 with 6 straight wins in Rings King of Kings Tournament. His record was stopped by Dan Henderson, who won by split decision. It followed a draw against the legendary Tsuyoshi Kosaka. The Brazilian Minotauro won five straight wins next year and won King of the Kings Tournament, submitting Valentijn Overeem in the final. After the final, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira decided to fight in Pride.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira caught everyone’s eyes with his first two victories in Pride, in which he submitted Mark Coleman and Garry Goodridge. Minotauro was remarked for his finest skills in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In the next match, the Brazilian was crowned Pride Heavyweight Champions, after he defeated Heath Hearing in one the best matches in MMA history. Nogueira built his reputation of being able to snatch victories after being battered during matches. Minotauro was loved for his never die and unexpected comebacks against fighters like Semmy Schilt, Dan Henderson (the Brazilian had his revenge), against the legendary Mirko Filipovic, Sergey Kharitonov, Fabricio Werdum and Josh Barnett. However, Big Nog could not defeat in any match Fedor Emelianenko and lost Pride belt.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Mirko Filipovic by dm_5020627fda98c
After the dissolution of Pride, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
joined UFC. In his own never surrender style, Big Nog was knocked down, but was able to stand up and submit Heath Hearing and Tim Sylvia. As a result Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
become UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion. However, being a punch bag for years took their toll and Nogueira was defeated by Frank Mir and Cain Velasquez. Big Nog was not able to sustain any longer repeated beatings, while Mir and Velasquez surprised the Brazilian with their superior hand speed. The second defeat against Frank Mir showed that Nogueira was no longer in his prime years and injuries took their toll. Frank Mir managed to escape Minotauro’s guillotine choke and execute a kimura that broke Nogueira’s right humerus. Big Nog demonstrated again he lost his edge and became slow after being submitted by Fabricio Werdum. In his final match the Brazilian was battered by Roy Nelson, who smashed Nogueira with punches.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is one the most respected and successful MMA fighters. He trained Anderson Silva in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Minotauro’s legendary resilience and spirit helped him to snatch unexpected victories from the jaws of defeat.