Brazilian legend Antonio Rogerio Nogueira retired from MMA competition following his trilogy-fight loss to Mauricio Rua at UFC on ESPN 14, marking the end of a career that dates back to his August 2001 debut and saw him fight for UFC, PRIDE and more.
Although Nogueira doesn’t have the major accomplishments such as a title in a premier organization, he has a career that was very respectable and left his mark on the sport. What kind of mark, exactly? MMA Junkie writers Nolan King, Farah Hannoun and Danny Segura debate Nogueira’s legacy in this edition of Triple Take.
Nolan King: Creating a legacy is more than wins and losses. Nogueira is a legend.
I’m sure Nogueira isn’t sitting in many people’s top 10 pound-for-pound list for the greatest fighters of all time. However, his accomplishments can’t be measured by wins and losses.
If you know MMA, you know the Nogueiras. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira had the “it-factor” before the “it-factor” was even a widely-recognizable trait in MMA. Identical twins and Brazilian badasses with the same name, both brothers competed at a top-tier level throughout their careers.
Just look at the laundry list of notable fighters Antonio Rogerio Nogueira competed against in PRIDE, Affliction, the UFC, and beyond. From Alistair Overeem to Kazushi Sakuraba to Mauricio Rua to Tito Ortiz to Rashad Evans, Nogueira’s place as a guy who fights top-tier talented translated across fighting generations.
Sure, his UFC record wasn’t the best. Sure, we have imagery of him getting blasted by Ryan Spann and Ryan Bader, but his late-career stumbles don’t water down the overall legacy.
Think about how many current UFC fighters grew up watching Rogerio and his legendary matchups and were inspired to pick up MMA themselves. That’s a legacy right there not a couple of knockouts. That’s legend status. That’s Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Next page: Farah Hannoun – ‘Lil’ Nog’ may not enter the UFC Hall of Fame, but he’s still a legend