'Minotauro' Believes Camp More Focused for Mir Rematch


Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira expects to fare better in his rematch with Frank Mir. | Photo: Sherdog.com


The first time Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira stepped into the Octagon with Frank Mir, things didn't turn out so well.

The 40-fight veteran suffered a technical knockout defeat to the Las Vegas native at UFC 92, succumbing to Mir's improved standup in the second round. Powerful left hooks spelled the end of the night for "Minotauro" and gave Mir the interim heavyweight crown in December 2008.

The two men will square off again at UFC 140 on Saturday at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Nogueira expects a different result for the rematch, in part because he believes that his current training camp has been more focused. When they last fought, both men were only a few months removed from coaching stints on Season 8 of "The Ultimate Fighter."

"For the last fight (against Mir), we had more distractions, and we'd just finished the show a couple months before in Vegas. It was hard to train over there," Nogueira said during a UFC conference call. "When I came to Brazil, I didn't feel like the camp was really good. I feel more explosive and more confident now. I'm more focused on what I'm doing, and I've got my sparring partners and been able to train the way that I wanted."

The former Pride heavyweight champion is coming off a career-rejuvenating win against Brendan Schaub at UFC 134. Billed as a heavy underdog against the up-and-coming Grudge Training Center prospect, Nogueira was able to absorb Schaub's punches early and knocked his opponent out with a short left hand midway through the first round in front of his countrymen in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Making the victory even more meaningful was the fact that it was his first fight since multiple surgeries shelved him for 18 months.

It has been a memorable stretch for Brazilians in the UFC overall. The country has produced three current champions -- Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo and Junior dos Santos -- and will look to add a fourth when Lyoto Machida challenges light heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones in UFC 140's main event.

Nogueira, a former UFC interim heavyweight champion himself, is proud of what his cohorts have accomplished.

"For Junior's fight (versus Cain Velasquez) we had over 60 million people watching on TV for the heavyweight title. It's a great time for the second sport in Brazil," he said. "We are all supporting the sport and we do our best as Brazilian fighters."

With a win on Saturday, Nogueira could insert himself back into the title discussion at heavyweight. "I know Frank's improved since the last time I fought him, but I'm in shape. I'm ready to go, and I'm excited to fight," he said.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

  • 28 days ago
  • 4 views

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s mixed martial arts career is coming to an end. The former PRIDE and UFC heavyweight champion, who built a 34-9-1 (1 no-contest) record since his MMA debut in 1999, announce read news >>

  • 14 days ago
  • 62 views

Frank Mir suggested that he would fight Big Nog for the third time but it depends on the approval of the UFC. Former UFC Heavyweight champion Frank Mir has accepted a challenge to conclude his trilog read news >>

  • 7 days ago
  • 1 views

The first time Marcos Maidana fought Floyd Mayweather Jr., he did so with a five-week camp. read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

Former UFC interim heavyweight champion Antonio ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira revealed that he plans on retiring by the end of 2015 when he completes his UFC contract. Antonio ‘Minotauro' Nogueira is not prep read news >>

  • 7 days ago
  • 0 views

On Saturday, the Octagon is in Brasilia, Brazil for the heavyweight rematch between Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and Andrei Arlovski. But before UFC Fight Night begins, let’s take a look at the card... read news >>

  • 7 days ago
  • 1 views

The first time Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva faced Andrei Arlovski in 2010, he recalls the emotion he felt like it was yesterday. “I remember I was very nervous,” he smiles. read news >>

  • 2 days ago
  • 38 views

Good thing Brendan Schaub has no trouble finding opponents. Despite being called out by "Big Brown," former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight champion Frank Mir is no closer to making read news >>

  • 22 days ago
  • 13 views

When you're intently focused or on a mission or devoted to a cause, you simply don't have time for many distractions. That's the position UFC welterweight Rory MacDonald, 25, finds himself in today. read news >>

  • 21 days ago
  • 13 views

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw talks about acting like a champion, why it was a mistake to book the Renan Barao rematch so soon, life as champion, how he expects the r read news >>