It has been widely reported today that both Nogueira brothers will appear on the UFC 119 main card (main and co-main events) this summer in Indianapolis. Older brother and MMA legend Antonio “Minotauro” will rematch former UFC heavyweight champ Frank Mir while young brother Antonio “Minotoro” will face rising TUF star Ryan Bader.
Mir and Big Nog first squared off at UFC 92 in late 2008. While Mir won by TKO early in the second round, the victory was marred by the later-discovered fact that Nogueira came into the fight having just beaten a severe staph infection and needing surgery for another injury. Nog’s lag in speed and mobility was noticeable from the get-go and Mir exploited it with well-placed shots. Both fighters have had on-and-off success since their meeting (each losing their most recent fight) and this fight is a chance for each man to dispute the previous outcome while also maintaining relevancy in the division.
Bader and Lil Nog is just as intriguing a fight as the aforementioned clash is, with both men having surged up in the light heavyweight division since their signings with the UFC. This fight likely acts as selecting a new top contender in the division and having that up for grabs in such a stacked weight class as 205 lbs. near-guarantees action from start to finish.
What’s ultimately going to be the main selling point for this event is having two beloved fighters in the Nogueiras in the featured bouts of the evening. Two fighters, who are not only still thrilling to watch compete but also made their names overseas in PRIDE. With the “Best of PRIDE” series on Spike TV having done so well to promote the early accomplishments of so many now-UFC fighters, both new and long-time fans alike will be engaged by the appeal of seeing Rodrigo and Rogerio not only on the same night but in back-to-back fights in the Octagon.
If you’ve seen the joy on either brother’s face following the other’s victory (see: when Lil Nog KO’d Luiz Cane) I don’t have to tell you how both winning at UFC 119 would be a instant classic in the MMA history books.
HT: MMA Fighting