Legendary heavyweight fighter Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira has officially announced that he’s leaving the MMA industry for good. At a recent press conference held in Rio de Janeiro last Tuesday, Nogueira admitted that he is finally retiring at the age of 39.
Nogueira, who has a record of 34-10-1 and 1 NC, has been one of the greatest heavyweight fighters in the entire mixed martial arts history. He has been in the industry for 17 years, with having done numerous fights in different eras in the mma history. Indeed, Nogueira was in all the milestones that the industry had to go through before it became a global mainstream.
Aside from continuing to spearhead the Team Nogueira fight team, which became rather successful over the years, “Big Nog” will now be moving on to another chapter in his life and join the UFC in Brazil on an administrative level. He will be helping on social projects and finding new talented athletes that can be a good addition to the promotion company.
“‘Big Nog’ is a legend in the sport of MMA. He is respected by fighters and fans worldwide. It has been an honor to watch him compete and I’m happy to see him retire. He will be a huge asset to the UFC, the athletes and the sport as an ambassador. I look forward to working with him in this new chapter of his life,” UFC President Dana White said in a recent interview.
When Nogueira was asked about what he felt about the situation, he admitted that he had mixed emotions about the situation.
“I have mixed feelings. I’m sad for leaving but happy with this new job in the UFC. I remember when I met [Junior dos Santos], he was brave in training, and before his UFC debut against the current champion Fabricio Werdum, I told Dana White to watch for his uppercut. And that’s how he beat him. I have good eyes for new talent, and I will look for new talents in this new generation,” Nogueira said.
Nogueira started in career in DeLand, Florida when he was just 23 years old. His first big break was when he defeated David Dodd with a kimura in the first round back at WEF 6. He fought once again for WEF but after that, Nogueira went to Japan where he eventually he was recognized for his great talent and eventually received international stardom in the following years.
As successful as how Nogueira’s MMA career went over the last few years, his time with the mma unfortunately ended with a three-fight losing streak. His loss to Stefan Struve in UFC 190 has prompted Dana White to step in and ask for him to retire.
“I started fighting in 1999, and was at the top 3 of the division until 2008. It’s an entire life. I have constant pain, fought guys heavier than this 265 pounds limit today. I love the training routine but I have to be 100 percent to fight. In my last training camp, I felt I was lacking something, the physical part, and it as a good time to stop. I wish I had come out with a win, but that’s not the most important. I’ve always had a passion to follow the development of new athletes and that’s what I intend to continue doing. I want to help further the spread of MMA around the world and give my contribution to the emergence and development of young talent. I appreciate all the confidence that Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta and Frank Fertitta have in me, and I believe we will reach big results together. I know that I can, and will, contribute much to the growth of our sport outside of the Octagon,” Nogueira said as he officially announced his retirement.