Time for Big Nog to retire?

by Kirik Jenness |

In his great "A Fighter's Heart" Sam Sheridan conveys what it is like to be backstage with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at a fight. It was in Yokohama, Japan, at Pride 25.  Big Nog had just lost a battle for the Pride Heavyweight Championship.

It was on 16 March 2003.

"Rodrigo, with his face starting to swell, hugged me and gave me a kiss on the cheek, and I was filled with love for the guy. He just has a lot of love in his heart. It's what has made him.

"Love has given him belief in itself. It's what makes a dog fight past forty-five minutes. Love is what makes us great, and this display of strength, heart, and love is what brings us all to the fights."

Fans love Big Nog. But sometimes in fighting, there comes a time when you love a fighter so much, you don't want to see him fight again.

Roy Nelson, 37, fought Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, 37, at UFN 39 in Abu Dhabi on Friday. Although their ages are identical, physiologically, Big Nog is a much older man.

Cago Potato caught the moment last night. They said Big Nog looked like he was covered in cement.

Blood is one thing.

"What is blood but a little bit of pride pouring out?" asked Renzo Gracie, answering "Blood is the sauce of the fight."

But this was something else.

This is the end:

MMAJunkie's Ben Fowlkes has the story.

I wonder, what was he thinking just then, once consciousness and some semblance of human-level awareness came flooding back in? Did he wonder why he’d ever agreed to this? Did he reflect on how this sort of thing – the waking up flat on his back with no idea how he’d gotten there sort of thing – never used to happen to him? Did he remind himself that, after nearly 15 years in the sport, he has nothing left to prove to anyone, and no chin left to prove it with?

Or did he just immediately begin calculating the taxes on his show money, wondering whether it would be enough once the forces of financial erosion had finished chipping away at it?

I don’t know, but I hope he found some way to make his peace with the facts as they are rather than as he’d like them to be. Nogueira’s already had more revivals and resurrections than most aging heavyweights ever get, so it must be hard to believe that there are really no more rabbits left for him to pull out of his hat.

And, who knows, maybe he could hang around just a little while longer. Maybe he could even win another fight or two that he has no business even accepting, like it’s 2011 all over again and he’s practically limping into the cage against Brendan Schaub before being carried out as a national hero.

Or maybe – probably – he’d only end up with more fights like this one, fights that seem like decent ideas right up until they start.

Read entire article...

Mixed martial arts is dangerous when you are 21, and only gets more dangerous with the years. It is no game for old men. 

Cesar Gracie ‏@CesarGracieBJJ  
Minotauro is a legend that has done it all but needs to retire from @UFC  CTE is no joke.

Rodrigo Nogueira @Minotauromma
Team Nogueira

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Recent Comments »

Lazer MMA site profile image  

4/15/14 10:17 AM by Lazer MMA

  He's a man. Let him decide

CapnKindBud site profile image  

4/15/14 10:09 AM by CapnKindBud

Yes. He should have retired after Cain KO'd him !

MattyJ site profile image  

4/15/14 5:51 AM by MattyJ

Every one of his recent fights I find myself just hoping he doesn't get caught, he just doesn't move well enough anymore, he seems to have several gyms so he should concentrate on training the next generation.

The Fella site profile image  

4/15/14 2:47 AM by The Fella

Big Nog was done after the 2nd Mir fight....UFC needs to give him the Liddell treatment - make the legend hang em up and hook him up with a nice spot on the UFC staff.    

rkm456 site profile image  

4/15/14 2:46 AM by rkm456

A couple things need to be said. I'm not implying that his chin is gone, I'm suggesting that 45 fights, and the type of fights that a lot of them were are what has contributed to his current state, some guys have long careers with many fight and manage to avoid both slugfests and injuries, others do not. Particularly in recent years, he's been the recipient of both some tko's and some serious injuries, which is generally going to be the type of thing that really adds on the "fight miles" as you say (great term, seriously) I don't doubt he could continue to perform, same goes for the other Pride legends I mentioned, but are they more likely to eek out a couple more great moments, or actually return to their old form? I'd guess the latter rather than the former.I also think that it bears mentioning that both Overeem and Vitor are kind of notoriously tied to the "fountain of youth" if you catch my drift. Not that I doubt the entire sport is filthy, but those 2 are pretty much the sport's PED poster boys.Hector Lombard is a bit of a different story, and I'd be lying if I told you I'd watched a pile of him earlier in his career, but I don't remember him fighting what one would call the upper echelon of fighters before getting to the UFC, nor do I remember him being particularly injury prone. If memory serves he kind of steam rolled everyone between the time he left Pride to the time he lost to Boetsch.

Tomato Can site profile image  

4/14/14 10:59 AM by Tomato Can

Yes, Nog should retire. He is starting to remind me of latter day Chuck Liddell. You can tell the skills are still there, but he is just too brittle. He gets rocked by everything that hits him and he isn't quick enough to get out of the way. Watching him is stressful because even when he's going well, you know things can go bad for him at any moment.

Fitzsimmons Shift site profile image  

4/14/14 10:35 AM by Fitzsimmons Shift

Overeem, although only 33, has had fifty fights, suffered more (T)KOs than Nog, and still looks great.Vitor doesn't have quite as many "fight miles" on him, with thirty-four bouts on his resume, but is still in condition and knocking on the door of a title shot. So is Hector Lombard, 36 and a veteran of forty MMA bouts, on top of a (physically gruelling) judo career that took him all the way to the Olympics. He only recently re-invented himself at an entirely new weight class.Nog's had a hard life, and has looked bad taking hard losses, recently. But I don't see much evidence that his chin is "gone" (his recovery was reasonably quick after the knockdowns preceding the final KO blow) and there's every chance he could get himself in reasonable condition again, even at 37.He looked entirely capable of winning his rematch with 36 year-old Werdum before that ill-considered sub attempt, so we shouldn't write off his ability to perform entirely.

orcus site profile image  

4/13/14 11:21 AM by orcus

He has no chance whatsoever against Overeem, and against Hunt it depends on his ability to get a takedown. I think he is so slow these days, and Hunt so heavy and stocky with ever-improving TDD, that Nog would get KO'd on the feet again.

tapi site profile image  

4/13/14 10:52 AM by tapi

Nog is very entertaining to watch nowadays, I think he should still fight against Hunt and Overeem before retiring

GarlicSauce site profile image  

4/13/14 10:19 AM by GarlicSauce

I love Ben's writings.