UFC heavyweight Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira can legitimately claim status as a legend considering his contributions to MMA and success in the sport. The 36-year old has beaten some of the finest fighters to ever grace the ring in his decade-plus career, achieving heights few have seen while never wavering from his humble demeanor.
Despite his accomplishments, the one thing “Big Nog” hopes to be best known for is his ability to endure no matter what life has thrown his way. In a little more than a week Nogueira will provide yet another example of his resilience when he returns to the Octagon after suffering a nasty arm injury in a December bout with Frank Mir.
“If you watch closely a highlight of my fights, you will see Armbars and everything. But if you really watch what you’ll see most of all is me getting back up,” said Nogueira in an interview with the UFC. “It’s all about overcoming. I had surgery on my hips in 2010. It was a total of three surgeries. (I) got back to training, got back to fighting. Recently I broke my arm and now I’m back to fighting again. When I was ten years old I got hit by a truck (and) couldn’t walk. But I fought through it and got back to training. Many times in my life I’ve been down but succeeded at overcoming and getting back up. This time won’t be different.”
As bad as his mangled limb may have looked in the match-up with Mir, Nogueira assured fans it paled in comparison to the injuries he suffered as a result of being run over as a child – a decimated Achilles tendon, losing a good portion of a lung, a severely damaged liver, and the need to have his diaphragm rebuilt. Still, as horrible as the experience may have been it ultimately helped mold “Minotauro” into the man he is today.
“I think nothing can be as bad as that accident. And I’ve taken that into my life. That’s what I try to teach to people – don’t keep your head down, keep on fighting until you reach your goals,” concluded Nogueira.
Check out the full interview with Nogueira below where he also discusses his excitement about fighting in front of his fellow Brazilians on October 13 at UFC 153:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC