After his surprising success against Brendan Schaub at UFC 134, a performance perhaps even more eye-opening based on the way he won, it seems the UFC should be able to come up with a number of options for Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s next bout.
Then again, if it were up to Nogueira, there’d apparently only be one – Frank Mir.
Mir and Nogueira originally met in December 2008 where the outspoken Las Vegas native went on to become the first man to ever finish “Minotauro”. Though a rematch was scheduled for UFC 119, Nogueira was forced to withdraw from the bout due to a series of injuries ultimately sidelining him until his appearance last weekend in Rio de Janeiro.
“I’d like to fight Mir, I want to fight UFC Japan. I’d like to fight UFC Canada, which will happen later this year. Fighting Mir is something I’d love to do. I’m motivated to fight him,” the PRIDE icon explained in a recent conversation with Tatame.
His interest in facing the former UFC heavyweight champ was echoed in an interview with MMAFighting where the 35-year old offered similar thoughts on Mir, saying, “You know, I lost the (first) fight. He’s a tough opponent. He’s a good guy. I’d like to fight him.”
With Mir’s calendar currently clear and Nogueira escaping UFC 134 without any real damage, not to mention the UFC’s plans to visit Toronto in December and rumors of a February 2012 card in Japan, he may just get his wish. And, if his showing in Brazil was indicative of what a healthy version of “Minotauro” can do, things should clearly unfold quite differently than they did three years back.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC