UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva has given his Black House team-mate Antonio Rogerio Nogueira a vote of confidence ahead of his fight with Jason Brilz at this weekend’s UFC 114 event.
Rogerio, brother of heavyweight fighter Rodrigo, made an explosive start to his UFC career by earning the ‘Knockout Of The Night’ award against Luiz Cane last year at UFC 106, and according to Silva we should be expecting to see more good things from his fellow Brazilian.
“I believe Minotouro is on his best phase ever,” Silva tells Brazilian site Tatame.
That’s high praise indeed considering that Lil Nog holds a career record of 18-3 and in 2005 defeated Alistair Overeem twice, Dan Henderson once and was also involved in one of the all-time great PRIDE fights against Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua.
Silva is currently training with him on a regular basis though, and therefore he would know better than anyone how the 33 year-old is performing.
“I believe he will win because of what I saw on his trainings, he’s really strong and well prepared,” Silva said of Nogueira’s fight with Brilz.
As for his own career, Silva’s next challenge to his middleweight title comes from Chael Sonnen. The champion says that he’s been working on his wrestling in preparation for the fight.
“I’m training with Mark Muñoz, he is helping a lot on that part. I’m only hoping to do a good fight against Sonnen, independently of the result.”
The fact that he is stressing the importance of having a good fight will certainly come as welcome news to fans who were disheartened by his lackluster performance against Demian Maia in his last Octagon outing.