Antonio Rogerio Nogueira captured the biggest win of his UFC career earlier this year when he beat former champion Rashad Evans by decision. He was then set to take on another former champion and past foe Mauricio Rua who beat Nogueira back in 2005 in PRIDE. The match was the fight of the year, and was an instant classic for that years tournament. Since that time, both fighters have had varied success with Shogun capturing the UFC title, but having traded wins and losses in his last few fights. Lil Nog has won almost all of his fights outside of a fe hiccups, but injuries have ultimately set his career back more than any loss.
Well, now it seems that he is ready to return to training, because he is already trying to make a few fights for himself. In an interview with MMA Fighting he has this to say about training and future opponents.
"I want to fight again this year, absolutely," said Nogueira. "(Shogun) is good fight, a good option for me. I’m a lot better now, back to boxing training already. I have trained jiu-jitsu last Saturday and it was a little painful, but I believe I’ll be ready to train hard in a month."
That was not the only thing that Nogueira spoke on, because he has a bone to pick with the bane of almost every Brazilian Fighter, Chael Sonnen. The American Gangster has taken everyone to task from Mauricio Rua to Wanderlei Silva. The difference for Nogueira is that he does not want to fight Sonnen, because in his beliefs he is not a real fighter.
"That fight doesn’t interest me because I want to fight the best, and there are a lot of fighters that are better than him, including Shogun, Dan Henderson and Rashad Evans," he said. "Chael talks trash, he’s pure marketing. If we keep talking about him, that’s what he wants. He fought three times for the world title and got beat up. He tried to make his name when Anderson was fighting him injured, and we all saw what happened in the second fight."
Whether is unwillingness to take on Sonnen has to do with the former middleweight number one contenders losses, his wrestling ability that could stick Nogueira to the mat, or Nogueira's wants to face other fighters remains to be seen. At the end of the day, it is just nice to see the BJJ black belt ready to enter the cage again.