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01st Sep 2015

Former UFC heavyweight champion Minotauro Rodrigo Nogueira has retired from MMA

Nothing gold can stay

Ben Kiely

A true legend of MMA has hung up his gloves for good.

Former UFC heavyweight and PRIDE champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira has officially retired from MMA.

The UFC announced that Minotauro ended his 17-year fighting career following a three-fight skid in the promotion, but will still be involved in the sport.

Big Nog will continue to captain the successful Team Nogueira fight team, and has also landed another job as UFC ambassador in Brazil, which will involve aiding social projects and helping the promotion to discover new talent in the region.

Dana White admitted he was delighted to see the legendary fighter call time on his fight career to work in a different capacity with the UFC.

“‘Big Nog’ is a legend in the sport of MMA. He is respected by fighters and fans worldwide. It has been an honor to watch him compete and I’m happy to see him retire. He will be a huge asset to the UFC, the athletes and the sport as an ambassador. I look forward to working with him in this new chapter of his life.”

Nogueira, on the other hand, was a little bit more ambivalent about walking away from the sport that served him so well throughout the years.

“I have mixed feelings. I’m sad for leaving but happy with this new job in the UFC.”

“I remember when I met [Junior dos Santos], he was brave in training, and before his UFC debut against the current champion Fabricio Werdum, I told Dana White to watch for his uppercut. And that’s how he beat him. I have good eyes for new talent, and I will look for new talents in this new generation.”

Nogueira rose to prominence in the Japanese promotion PRIDE, where he went on an iconic seven-fight win streak that saw him claim the heavyweight title and defeat marquee names such as Dan Henderson and Mark Coleman.

He fought 11 times inside the Octagon and won the interim UFC heavyweight championship with a third-round submission over Tim Sylvia in 2008.

Hat-tip to MMA Fighting