'Big Nog' holds off retirement after Rio win
MANILA, Philippines – Brazilian mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, fondly known as “Big Nog,” said he will not retire just yet after posting a victory in the main undercard bout of UFC 153 in Rio de Janeiro.
Nogueira submitted heavyweight contender Dave Herman via armbar, to the thrill of the mostly Brazilian crowd. His efforts earned him a $70,000 bonus for “Submission of the Night.”
It was his first fight since recovering from a broken arm sustained in a loss to Frank Mir last December 2011, and his first win since a knockout victory over Brendan Schaub in August 2011.
“I still can fight,” Nogueira said in the post-event press conference. “I feel amazing and I’m still hungry. I feel good physically.”
“I’m very happy to be a part of the co-main event in Brazil, and I want to be back fighting in Brazil next year or anywhere (UFC President Dana White) puts me,” he added.
Nogueira said he only wants to face the best fighters in the division, outside of heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos whom he considers his “brother.”
“I want to fight Top 10 guys. I can’t ask for the belt, because my buddy, Junior Dos Santos, is the champion. He’s kind of my brother,” Nogueira said. “But I want to fight against the best guys.”
White, meanwhile, was all praises for Nogueira following the event.
“The guy is a warhorse. He’s fought all the best in the world. I told him when he came out, I’m honored to have you fighting here in the UFC,” White said. “He’s the nicest guy in the world, he’s been incredibly successful and I couldn’t be happier for him.”