Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira (Template:IPA-pt; born June 2, 1976 in Vitória da Conquista, Bahia, Brazil) is a Brazilian mixed martial artist known for his technical mastery of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He competes in the heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, where he is a former UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion. He is widely recognized to possess the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the MMA heavyweight class and being one of the best mixed martial artists of all time.
He rose to prominence in the Japanese Pride Fighting Championship promotion, where he was the first Pride Heavyweight Champion from November 2001 to March 2003, as well as a Pride FC heavyweight grand prix finalist. He is the first and only heavyweight to have held Championship titles in both the Pride Fighting Championship promotion and the Ultimate Fighting Championship promotion. He holds notable wins over Tim Sylvia, Dan Henderson, Sergei Kharitonov, Mark Coleman, Valentijn Overeem, Ricco Rodriguez, Mirko Filipović, Jeremy Horn, Josh Barnett, Heath Herring, Fabricio Werdum, Semmy Schilt, Bob Sapp and Randy Couture.
Born in the town of Vitória da Conquista, Brazil, Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira started training in judo at the age of 4, boxing at 14 and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu when he was 18. He was run over by a truck when he was 11, and fell into a coma for 4 days. During this time he lost a rib and part of his liver and had to be hospitalized for eleven months. As a result of the accident he has a large scar, including a noticeable indentation, on his lower back.
A few years after his MMA debut he started to train at the Brazilian Top Team. In June 2007 Nogueira officially left Brazilian Top Team prior to his UFC debut and is currently associated with Black House.
WEF and Rings careerEdit
At the age of fourteen he was invited by a friend to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Ricardo de la Riva Goded. He had earlier started training some boxing. In 1999, at age 23, he was awarded with the black belt in both judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. That same year, he made his mixed martial arts debut against David Dodd in World Extreme Fighting 6, submitting Dodd via crucifix in the first round. After defeating Nate Schroeder via armbar in WEF 7, he fought in Japan for the Rings promotion's King of Kings 1999 forty eight man tournament held over 3 events where he won three fights before losing by decision to Dan Henderson in the tournament semi-finals. In between the two Rings events in which he competed he defeated Jeremy Horn by decision at WEF 8. Nogueira then entered the King of Kings 2000 forty man tournament held over three events, winning all of his five matches to become the tournament champion.
Nogueira's notable victories in Pride include wins over Dan Henderson, Mark Coleman, Heath Herring, former UFC heavyweight champions Ricco Rodriguez and Josh Barnett, Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipović, and Bob Sapp.
Following the end of Akira Maeda's Rings federation, Nogueira was signed by Pride. He debuted in July 2001 at Pride 15, quickly submitting Gary Goodridge by triangle choke. In Pride 16, he submitted UFC and Pride Grand Prix champion Mark Coleman by armbar. He was crowned as the inaugural Pride World Heavyweight Champion after defeating Heath Herring by decision.
He then represented Pride at a co-promotion with K-1, Pride Shockwave, against the super heavyweight former American footballer Bob Sapp. Sapp manhandled the much smaller Nogueira, spiking him onto the ring canvas and dominating the fight, until tiring and falling to an armbar submission. His battle with Sapp (who outweighed him by over 150 lb) made him a fan favorite for his seemingly inhuman ability to take punishment before recovering to win.
Dutch kickboxer Semmy Schilt was his next opponent. Again heavily outsized, he scored another victory by triangle choke. He then avenged his sole loss at this point by submitting Dan Henderson via armbar, who had previously beaten him in Rings by decision.
Losing the titleEdit
Nogueira's first Pride title defense was against Russian Sambo champion Fedor Emelianenko at Pride 25 where he suffered his second career loss, a judges' decision after Emelianenko dominated the fight with characteristic ground-and-pound through the guard.
Bouncing back from the loss, he won a decision against former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez. Rodriguez managed to score takedowns and maintain top position, but since Pride's scoring is determined primarily by "effort to finish the fight by KO or submission", Nogueira's multiple submission attempts won him the controversial decision victory.
In November 2003, with heavyweight champion Emelianenko unable to fight due to injuries, Pride elected to crown an interim champion, so top contenders Nogueira and Mirko Filipović were matched up. Filipović managed to dominate the first round with his superior striking and landed his trademark left high kick, but in the second round, Nogueira managed to secure a takedown and roll into an armbar to submit Filipović.
On 25 April 2004 at Pride Total Elimination 2004, the first round of the 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix, he faced the unbeaten professional wrestler and former judoka Hirotaka Yokoi, who he submitted with the debut of his anaconda choke. He then repeated this against Heath Herring in the next round to advance to the semi finals where he defeated Sergei Kharitonov with his superior boxing to again face Fedor Emelianenko in the finals. The fight was markedly different from their first, with Nogueira able to avoid the damage he suffered from ground-and-pound in their first meeting, but was stopped when Emelianenko suffered a cut after an accidental headbut and could not continue, resulting in a no contest. Another rematch was required to determine the tournament champion, and was scheduled for Pride Shockwave 2004 on 31 December 2004. Despite Nogueira's improved gameplan and striking technique, he suffered another unanimous decision loss to Emelianenko.
At Pride Critical Countdown 2005 he defeated Polish Olympic judoka Pawel Nastula by strikes and following this, at Pride 31 he beat professional wrestler and fighter Kiyoshi Tamura by armbar for the second time.
He then entered the 2006 Pride Open Weight Grand Prix, progressing to the semi final by defeating fellow Brazilians Zuluzinho and Fabricio Werdum. In the semi final, he faced the American catch wrestler Josh Barnett and lost to a split decision, as both had landed damaging blows and submission attempts without managing to secure a victory. Barnett went on to face Mirko Filipović in the finals, submitting to punches and kicks to the face.
Nogueira avenged the loss to Barnett with a unanimous decision win in their rematch at Pride Shockwave 2006.
At UFC Fight Night 9 which took place on April 5, 2007 Nogueira was in attendance and was sitting cage side with UFC president Dana White. It was subsequently announced at UFC 69, by White, that Nogueira had joined the UFC, promoted initially as simply "Minotauro" Nogueira, much like the UFC's promotion of Mirko Filipović as Mirko Cro Cop.
His debut in the Octagon was a third fight with Heath Herring at UFC 73, promoted under various combinations of his name and nickname, but was officially introduced to the audience under his full name and nickname. Nogueira once again defeated Herring, via unanimous decision. During the first round Nogueira was hit with a high kick that sent him to the canvas, in which unofficial judge Eddie Bravo thought the fight could have been stopped. Herring tried to finish but Nogueira was able to hold on and come back with a decision win.
At UFC 81 Nogueira defeated Tim Sylvia in the third round with a guillotine choke to become the interim heavyweight champion. Sylvia knocked Nogueira down in the first round with punches. After pulling Sylvia into his half guard in the third round, Nogueira quickly secured a sweep and attempted an armbar which he missed but immediately transitioned into a guillotine choke as Sylvia tried to regain his feet. He is the first fighter to hold championships in both the UFC and Pride.
The Ultimate Fighter Season 8Edit
- Main article: The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir
After the season concluded, coaches Nogueira and Mir met at UFC 92 for the interim UFC heavyweight title. Frank Mir won in the second round via TKO due to strikes, showing much improved striking by knocking Nogueira down twice in the first round, Herb Dean stopped the match at 1:54 of the second round. The loss marked the first time Nogueira had been stopped in his career.
Two days after the fight Dana White revealed in an interview that “Nogueira had just gotten over a Staph infection” . Nogueira himself verified this fact several months later in his own interview, stating that he had a Staph infection “20 days before the fight, [requiring] 5 days in the hospital.” When asked if this infection affected his fight, Nogueira answered: “For sure.” In addition to this significant illness, his knee was injured during training for which he had surgery in February 2009. Despite these legitimate handicaps, Nogueira offered strong praise for Frank Mir’s performance, with particular credit given to Mir’s ability to maintain “very good distance.” 
Nogueira vs. Couture and futureEdit
The UFC next wanted to schedule Nogueira to face Randy Couture at UFC 97, but Couture had to turn down the fight due to elbow surgery in January 2009. Couture later agreed to fight Nogueira at UFC 102 in Portland, OR. Nogueira defeated Couture via unanimous decision. Nogueira showed much improved sharpness on his feet, and displayed his excellent chin by walking through many of Couture's strikes while still throwing punches, eventually gaining the better of the exchanges as he scored two knockdowns in the fight. Although taken down twice, Nogueira swept from guard on both occasions (after some time on his back) to gain the full mount over Couture. On the floor, Nogueira threatened with two submissions, first with a D'Arce choke and later with an arm triangle.
Nogueira was expected to face undefeated Cain Velasquez on January 2, 2010 at UFC 108, but again Nogueira caught another severe staph infection cancelling the bout that was supposed to reveal the #1 contender for the UFC Heavyweight Championship.  The bout took place on February 21, 2010 at UFC 110. During the bout Minotauro was out-boxed on the feet, with Cain landing a right hook that dropped him early in the first round. Velasquez followed up with five clean shots on the ground, prompting Herb Dean to stop the contest earning a KO victory for Velasquez.
Championships and achievementsEdit
ADCC World Submission Wrestling Championships
- 2000 ADCC - 99kg+: Quarter finals
CBJJ World Championships
- 1999 Black Belt Absoluto: 3rd Place
- 1997 Purple Belt Pesadissimo: 2nd place
CBJJ Pan-American Championships
- 1999 Brown Belt Pesadissimo: 1st Place, Brown Belt Absoluto: 1st place
CBJJ Brazilian Championships
- 1998 Brown Belt Pesadissimo: 1st Place
- 1996 Blue Belt Absoluto: 1st Place
Mixed martial artsEdit
World Extreme Fighting
- WEF Heavyweight Superfight Champion
- RINGS King of Kings 2000 Tournament Winner
- First Pride Heavyweight Champion
- Interim Pride Heavyweight Champion
- Interim UFC Heavyweight Champion
- 2x Fight of the Night Honors
Mixed martial arts recordEdit
|Professional record breakdown|
|40||32 wins||6 losses|
|Loss||32–6–1 (1)||Cain Velasquez||TKO (Punches)||UFC 110: Nogueira vs. Velasquez||21 February 2010||1||2:20||Sydney, Australia|
|Win||32–5–1 (1)||Randy Couture||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 102: Couture vs. Nogueira||29 August 2009||3||5:00||Portland, Oregon||Fight of the Night|
|Loss||31–5–1 (1)||Frank Mir||TKO (Punches)||UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008||27 December 2008||2||1:57||Las Vegas, NV||Lost the interim UFC Heavyweight Championship|
|Win||31–4–1 (1)||Tim Sylvia||Submission (Guillotine Choke)||UFC 81: Breaking Point||2 February 2008||3||1:28||Las Vegas, NV||Won interim UFC Heavyweight Championship; Fight of the Night|
|Win||30–4–1 (1)||Heath Herring||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 73: Stacked||7 July 2007||3||5:00||Sacramento, CA||UFC Debut|
|Win||29–4–1 (1)||Josh Barnett||Decision (unanimous)||Pride Shockwave 2006||31 December 2006||3||5:00||Saitama, Japan|
|Loss||28–4–1 (1)||Josh Barnett||Decision (split)||Pride Final Conflict Absolute||10 September 2006||2||5:00||Saitama, Japan||PRIDE 2006 Openweight Grand Prix Semifinal|
|Win||28–3–1 (1)||Fabricio Werdum||Decision (unanimous)||Pride Critical Countdown Absolute||1 July 2006||3||5:00||Saitama, Japan||PRIDE 2006 Openweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal|
|Win||27–3–1 (1)||Zuluzinho||Submission (armbar)||Pride Total Elimination Absolute||5 May 2006||1||2:17||Osaka, Japan||PRIDE 2006 Openweight Grand Prix Opening Round|
|Win||26–3–1 (1)||Kiyoshi Tamura||Submission (armbar)||Pride 31 Dreamers||26 February 2006||1||2:24||Saitama, Japan|
|Win||25–3–1 (1)||Paweł Nastula||TKO (strikes)||Pride Critical Countdown 2005||26 June 2005||1||8:38||Saitama, Japan|
|Loss||24–3–1 (1)||Fedor Emelianenko||Decision (unanimous)||Pride Shockwave 2004||31 December 2004||3||5:00||Saitama, Japan||Lost 2004 Pride Heavyweight Grand Prix Final|
|NC||24–2–1 (1)||Fedor Emelianenko||No contest – accidental headbutt||Pride Final Conflict 2004||15 August 2004||1||3:52||Saitama, Japan||2004 Pride Heavyweight Grand Prix Final; rematch at Pride Shockwave 2004|
|Win||24–2–1||Sergei Kharitonov||Decision (unanimous)||Pride Final Conflict 2004||15 August 2004||2||5:00||Saitama, Japan||PRIDE 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinal|
|Win||23–2–1||Heath Herring||Submission (anaconda choke)||Pride Critical Countdown 2004||20 June 2004||2||0:30||Saitama, Japan||PRIDE 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal|
|Win||22–2–1||Hirotaka Yokoi||Submission (anaconda choke)||Pride Total Elimination 2004||25 April 2004||2||1:25||Saitama, Japan||PRIDE 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix Opening Round|
|Win||21–2–1||Mirko Filipović||Submission (armbar)||Pride Final Conflict 2003||9 November 2003||2||1:45||Tokyo, Japan||Won interim Pride Heavyweight Championship|
|Win||20–2–1||Ricco Rodriguez||Decision (unanimous)||Pride Total Elimination 2003||10 August 2003||3||5:00||Saitama, Japan||PRIDE Interim Heavyweight Championship Tournament Opening Round|
|Loss||19–2–1||Fedor Emelianenko||Decision (unanimous)||Pride 25 Body Blow||16 March 2003||3||5:00||Yokohama, Japan||Lost Pride Heavyweight Championship|
|Win||19–1–1||Dan Henderson||Submission (armbar)||Pride 24 Cold Fury 3||23 December 2002||3||1:49||Fukuoka, Japan|
|Win||18–1–1||Semmy Schilt||Submission (triangle choke)||Pride 23 Championship Chaos 2||24 November 2002||1||6:36||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||17–1–1||Bob Sapp||Submission (armbar)||Pride Shockwave||28 August 2002||2||4:03||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||16–1–1||Sanae Kikuta||KO (punch)||UFO-Legend||8 August 2002||2||0:29||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||15–1–1||Enson Inoue||Technical Submission (triangle choke)||Pride 19 Bad Blood||24 February 2002||1||6:17||Saitama, Japan|
|Win||14–1–1||Heath Herring||Decision (unanimous)||Pride 17 Championship Chaos||3 November 2001||3||5:00||Tokyo, Japan||Won Pride Heavyweight Championship (First Pride HW Champion)|
|Win||13–1–1||Mark Coleman||Submission (triangle with armbar)||Pride 16 Beasts From The East||24 September 2001||1||6:10||Osaka, Japan|
|Win||12–1–1||Gary Goodridge||Submission (triangle choke)||Pride 15 Raging Rumble||29 July 2001||1||2:37||Saitama, Japan|
|Win||11–1–1||Valentijn Overeem||Submission (arm triangle choke)||Rings – King of Kings 2000 Final||24 February 2001||1||1:20||Tokyo, Japan||Won King of Kings 2000 Tournament|
|Win||10–1–1||Hiromitsu Kanehara||Submission (rear naked choke)||Rings – King of Kings 2000 Final||24 February 2001||2||0:20||Tokyo, Japan||King of Kings 2000 Tournament Semifinal|
|Win||9–1–1||Volk Han||Decision (unanimous)||Rings – King of Kings 2000 Final||24 February 2001||2||5:00||Tokyo, Japan||King of Kings 2000 Tournament Quarterfinal|
|Win||8–1–1||Kiyoshi Tamura||Submission (armbar)||Rings – King of Kings 2000 Block A||9 October 2000||2||2:29||Tokyo, Japan||King of Kings 2000 Tournament 2nd Round|
|Win||7–1–1||Achmed Labasanov||Submission (armbar)||Rings – King of Kings 2000 Block A||9 October 2000||1||1:38||Tokyo, Japan||King of Kings 2000 Tournament 1st Round|
|Draw||6–1–1||Tsuyoshi Kohsaka||Draw||Rings – Millennium Combine 3||23 August 2000||2||5:00||Osaka, Japan|
|Loss||6–1||Dan Henderson||Decision (split)||Rings – King of Kings 1999 Final||26 February 2000||3||5:00||Tokyo, Japan||King of Kings 1999 Tournament Semifinal|
|Win||6–0||Andrei Kopylov||Decision (majority)||Rings – King of Kings 1999 Final||26 February 2000||2||5:00||Tokyo, Japan||King of Kings 1999 Tournament Quarterfinal|
|Win||5–0||Jeremy Horn||Decision (unanimous)||WEF 8 – Goin' Platinum||15 January 2000||3||8:00||Rome, Georgia||Won WEF Heavyweight Superfight Championship|
|Win||4–0||Iouri Kotchkine||Technical Submission (armbar)||Rings – King of Kings 1999 Block A||28 October 1999||1||0:40||Tokyo, Japan||King of Kings 1999 Tournament 2nd Round|
|Win||3–0||Valentijn Overeem||Technical Submission (keylock)||Rings – King of Kings 1999 Block A||28 October 1999||1||1:51||Tokyo, Japan||King of Kings 1999 Tournament 1st Round|
|Win||2–0||Nate Schroeder||Submission (armbar)||WEF 7 – Stomp in the Swamp||9 October 1999||1||1:52||Kenner, LA|
|Win||1–0||David Dodd||Submission (kimura)||WEF 6 – World Extreme Fighting 6||12 June 1999||1||N/A||DeLand, Florida|
- ↑ MMA Top 10. MMAWeekly.com (August 8, 2007). Archived from the original on March 6, 2006.
- ↑ Nokaut's TOP 10 Fighter Rankings. Nokaut.com (August 18, 2007).
- ↑ Gerbasi, Thomas (June 28, 2007). "Minotauro" Nogueira's Championship Heart. UFC.com. Retrieved on October 27, 2007.
- ↑ Karkoski, Kris (June 29, 2007). Nogueira Officially Severs Ties with BTT. UFCdaily.com. Retrieved on November 6, 2007.
- ↑ Hume, Matt (September 4, 2003). A judge's explanation of Nogueira vs Rodriguez. Pridefc.com. Retrieved on January 2, 2009.
- ↑ http://www.sherdog.com/news/articles/10-Questions-for-Minotauro-Nogueira-18176
- ↑ Meltzer, Dave (February 2, 2008). UFC 81 round-by-round coverage. Wrestling Observer.com. Retrieved on February 4, 2008.
- ↑ Pishna, Ken (May 12, 2008). Mir as a coach for TUF 8. MMAweekly.com. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved on May 12, 2008.
- ↑ Sloan, Mike (December 24, 2008). Pros Picks: Nogueira vs. Mir. Sherdog.com. Retrieved on January 2, 2009.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 UFC 92 Play-by-Play. Sherdog.com (December 28, 2008). Retrieved on January 2, 2009.
- ↑ Hall, Joe (December 28, 2008). Evans, Mir Crowned; Rampage Gets Revenge. Sherdog.com. Retrieved on January 2, 2009.
- ↑ White, Dana (December 29, 2008). The Carmichael Dave Show Dana White 12-29 Part 1. Northern California’s Sport Station KHTK. Retrieved on March 12, 2009.
- ↑ Rodrigo, Antonio (March 9, 2009). MMACanada TV: Staph Infection Affected Nogueira's Loss to Mir; Wants to Submit Couture in Their Future Fight. MMACanada.net. Retrieved on March 12, 2009.
- ↑ Randy Couture turns down fight against ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira because of minor elbow surgery. MMAmania.com (January 11, 2009). Retrieved on January 14, 2009.
- ↑ http://www.411mania.com/MMA/news/99925/UFC-to-Hold-2-Events-in-August.htm
- ↑ Template:Cite news
- ↑ Template:Cite news
- ↑ Template:Cite news
- ↑ http://www.sherdog.com/events/UFC-110-Nogueira-vs-Velasquez-11792
- ↑ UFC champ Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's star shines as bright as South Beach. Combatwire.com (2008-05-21). Retrieved on 2009-01-19.
- Official website
- UFC Profile
- Official West Palm Beach School Website
- Antonio Nogueira Instructionals