MMA Hall of Fame: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
One of the greatest fighter of all time, heavyweight fighter - Antonion Rodrigo Nogueira - makes his way to Fighting Insider's MMA Hall of Fame.
Also known as “Big Nog”, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was born on June 2, 1976. He is a former UFC Interim Heavyweight champion, a twin brother to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and a best friend to Anderson Silva. He was born in the town of Vitória da Conquista in Brazil, where he started training in Judo at age 4. Ten years later, he trained in boxing, and in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at 18.
In 1999, Big Nog made his MMA debut against David Dodd at World Extreme Fighting 6 where he submitted his opponent via Crucifx in the first round. After that, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira defeated Nate Schroeder via amrbar at WEF 7, and fought in Japan at Ring’s King of Kings forty-eight man tournament. He won his first three fights, but loss to Dan Henderson at the semi-finals. It was followed by a decision victory over Jeremy Horn at WEF 8, before he competed for Ring’s King of Kings 2000 forty-man tournament. It was in this competition that he won his five matches and became the champion.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira rose to prominence in the Japanese Pride Fighting Championships, where he became the first Pride Heavyweight Champion from November 2001 to March 2003. After that, he joined the Ultimate Fighting Championships, where he was initially dubbed as Minotauro Nogueira by Dana White at UFC 69. Big Nog debuted in the Octagon against Heath Herring at UFC 73, where he won via unanimous decision.
On September 25, 2010, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueria was supposed to face Frank Mir in a rematch at UFC 119. However, he has to pull out from the fight due to his knee and hip surgery. The former heavyweight king eyes a return at UFC Rio. Right now, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is known for being the only heavyweight fighter that held championship titles for both Pride Fighting Championships and Ultimate Fighting Championships.
ADCC World Submission Wrestling Championships
* 2000 ADCC – 99kg+: Quarter finals
CBJJ World Championships
* 1999 Black Belt Absoluto: 3rd Place
* 1997 Purple Belt Pesadissimo: 2nd place
CBJJ Pan-American Championships
* 1999 Brown Belt Pesadissimo: 1st Place
* 1999 Brown Belt Absoluto: 1st place
CBJJ Brazilian Championships
* 1998 Brown Belt Pesadissimo: 1st Place
* 1997 Purple Belt Pesadissimo: 3rd Place
* 1996 Blue Belt Absoluto: 1st Place
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
* RINGS King of Kings 2000 Tournament Winner
* 2009 Fight of the Year – vs. Randy Couture on August 29
PRIDE Fighting Championships
* Pride Heavyweight Championship (One time, first)
* Interim Pride Heavyweight Championship (One time)
* 2004 PRIDE Heavyweight Grand Prix Runner-Up
* 2006 PRIDE Openweight Grand Prix Semi-Finalist
Ultimate Fighting Championships
* Interim UFC Heavyweight Championship (One time)
* Fight of the Night (Two times)
World Extreme Fighting
* WEF Heavyweight Superfight Champion (One Time)
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
* 2002 Fighter of the Year
Black Belt Magazine
* 2002 NHB Fighter of the Year