Yesterday it emerged that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira had pulled out of his UFC 119 headline bout with Frank Mir due to injury, though at the time it wasn’t clear exactly why.
Today the former UFC interim heavyweight champion explained the reason behind his withdrawal.
“I hurt my hips training and I’ll have to go on surgery,” Nogueira tells Tatame.com. “I’m only depending on a few exams, but I think it’ll be done by the weekend. The surgery will be on both sides of my hips, and I’ll operate my knee too. If everything goes alright I’ll be back on training in four months.”
That means Nogueira will be out until sometime in 2011. The injuries appear to be yet another sign that his long and arduous fighting career is starting to catch up on the 34 year-old. Throughout his 11 years in the sport ‘Big Nog’ has become famous for his ability to take punishment and still come out on top.
Unfortunately in recent years that no longer appears to be the case. In December of 2008 Frank Mir became the first man ever to beat him inside the distance, and did so handily. He bounced back against Randy Couture in 2009, but In March of 2010 he was knocked out by Cain Velasquez, the most devastating loss of his career.
Also during that period Nogueira has suffered several Staph infections which required him to be hospitalized, and knee surgery. When put together with his latest injuries there must now surely be a major question mark over how much longer Nogueira has at the top level in the sport.
Meanwhile, though it’s not been officially confirmed yet it appears that another PRIDE veteran Mirko Cro Cop will stand-in for Nogueira against Mir in September at UFC 119. Nogueira’s brother Rogerio will also fight in the co-main event against Ryan Bader.