It’s official, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will get his wish to fight at UFC 134: Rio in his native Brazil, where he’ll take on the up and coming heavyweight prospect Brendan Schaub.
Nogueira had originally been hoping for a rematch with old PRIDE rival Mirko Cro Cop, but though that match-up would certainly have had historical significance, a fight with Schaub is much more relevant to the current heavyweight landscape.
While Schaub may not carry Cro Cop’s legendary status, he is a dangerous opponent for Nogueira, particularly given that the Brazilian will be coming off an 18 month layoff due to due to an assortment of injuries and surgeries to his hips and knees.
Schaub is also building a bit of a reputation as a giant killer since reaching the finals of The Ultimate Fighter Season 10, having disposed of UFC stalwarts Gabriel Gonzaga and the aforementioned Cro Cop in his last two bouts to amass a four-fight winning streak.
Nogueira’s own recent record is less impressive, having been TKO’d by Frank Mir and KO’d by Cain Velasquez with only a decision win over Randy Couture inbetween.
He’ll have the home crowd behind him in Rio however, and if his latest surgeries have been successful then we may see a rejuvenated Big Nog on August 27th.