Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira fell victim to one of the most brutal submissions ever seen in the Octagon against Frank Mir earlier this month, but it’s a fight he could see easily have won.

‘Big Nog’ had Mir on the verge of unconciousness after rocking him early in the fight and then unloading a barrage of ground and pound strikes on the mat.

The Brazilian’s decision to then attempt to finish him by submission rather than continue to finish him with punches surprised many and proved to be his downfall as Mir escaped and then proceeded to lock on the fight-ending kimura that broke Nogueira’s humerus bone.

Reflecting on his performance with TATAME after having surgery to repair his arm the 34 year-old reveals that it was a referee warning that lead to his decision to switch tactics.

“Last Saturday I fought and lost via submission for the first time in my career, it was a bad feeling, but it’s part of the sport. Everything that happens in a fight is quick and the fighter acts most based on his instincts and reflexes than on his mind. I knew I made a mistake as I tried to submit on a fight where I could have won by KO. But when Frank Mir was practically knocked out I heard the judge as me to stop punching him at the neck and that exactly when I tried to choke him. Mir put himself together and must be congratulated for submitting me. I checked the videos and I wasn’t hitting him on the neck, but on Mir’s side of the head, which is allowed.”

I haven’t gone back to watch the fight, but I vaguely recall the referee Herb Dean giving him that warning. I don’t think Dean was claiming that Nogueira was striking him illegaly though, he was just cautioning him to pick his shots carefully.

I can see how the call could be misinterpreted though so it’s unfortunate that Nogueira misunderstood.

In the end I don’t think it takes away from the remarkable nature of Mir’s comeback though. He was badly hurt yet he still had the presence of mind to escape the revered BJJ practitioner’s guillotine attempt, advance to a superior position and then lock in a submission of his own – impressive stuff.


  1. This was unnecessary, claiming the ref was a factor in you getting your arm broken does what? Let your arm heal and see you in 2012. G’nite.

  2. seriously people? blaming? so if you idiotic morons lost a fight because a reff told you to stop punching WHEN THAT IS NOT HIS JOB, the reff’s job is not to protect mirs SIDE of his head, its the back of his fucking head, you people are f*cking stupid, why did nog go to try and submit him BECAUSE HE THOUGHT HE LANDED AN ILLEGAL BLOW, wow f*cking idiots

  3. Big Nog never blamed the Ref. He admitted it was his own misjudment and congratulated Mir. It sucks having to spell things that are so clearly written right above…

  4. I believe Noguiera. The reason I believe him is because in the first fight he said he had staph & people said he was making an excuse/he didn’t have anything he was just a zombie who had been hit too many times & Mir KO’d him.

    We’ll watching him fight Mir the 2nd time, he was tearing Mir apart in the standup. Generally, you don’t have 2 guys at the highest level of competition dominate the other & then in the rematch get dominated….unless something is seriously wrong. Not at this level. Nog looked like a zombie in the first fight, very little head movement, eating shots over and over he kind of looked like a punching bag. The 2nd fight he was ripping Mir to the body until Mir just dropped and started eating shots to the head ala Carwin. From watching it, he had was a couple blows from being a ragdoll. Herb Dean said something & then Nog changed his strategy. He made a mistake in putting himself into extremely vulnerable position with the Anaconda choke, if you don’t land that your in trouble. Especially if it were Pride that means knees to the head in in the 69 position(North-South, but on your back). I had previously believed Nog wanted to submit Mir out of pride, but perhaps this story is true because w/o the ref warning Mir would have been KO’d(unless Nog was intent on submitting him from the very beginning or something like that)

  5. What people are most likely talking about is how NOG always comes up with something to discredit . A opponent’s win like when Mir KO’D him he said it was cause he had all kinds of injury’s now it’s he got his arm broke cause of something the ref did people start to lose respect for fighters that do that