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Dana White talks about Nogueira’s defeat; claims former champ suffered from Staph infection

While a guest on “The Carmichael Dave Show” this past Monday night on KHTK in Sacramento, UFC President Dana White spent a good portion of the interview breaking down the action witnessed from this past Saturday’s UFC 92 event.

One of the major topics discussed during the interview was Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira losing the interim UFC heavyweight title to Frank Mir following a second round TKO. The win by Mir was considered a major upset and White shared his thoughts as to why the surprise outcome may have occurred.

“Nogueira had some other problems too going into [UFC 92]. Nogueira had just gotten over a Staph infection and he had some other problems but when [Nogueira] fought in PRIDE. PRIDE put on such freak shows — guys fighting out of their weight class, things like that. That’s why I’m so against it. That’s how you ruin guys early. If you’re a professional athlete, time is not good to you. Time catches us all.”

One of the “freak show” fights that White was referencing was Nogueira’s 2002 bout vs. Bob Sapp during PRIDE’s Shockwave” event. Sapp is a 350-plus pound former NFL offensive lineman who outweighed Nogueira by over 100 pounds.

Despite the disparity in weight, Nogueira still submitted Sapp with an armbar at 4:03 of round 2. However, the win came with a price as the former PRIDE heavyweight champion suffered a sustained amount of punishment during the vast majority of the content.

What’s next for Nogueira is not know, however, White did not rule out the possibility of a fight between him and former UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture.

  • Davey D says:

    I thought Herb Dean called it bit early at first. But when I saw how wobbly Nog’ was once standing I understood it was just. Minotauro has a fighter’s heart. That never say die attitude. I think a lot of people can learn from that. He’ll get better and return to fight again.

  • Mikee says:

    I’m sick of hearing excuses. Nog lost. Yes he is an incredibly talented fighter and is one of the best but he lost that fight to a better fighter that night and it gets old hearing excuse after excuse. I’m sick of the crybabies.

  • kentuckyfightfan says:

    Dana is right on the money when it comes to Pride hurting their fighters. Weight classes are required in America for a reason. I always hated seeing the Nog/Sapp type fights…and for this reason…it punishes guys too much and results in careers being shortened. And not because White says so…its simple physics. Bob Sapp beating on you is way more damaging than a man your own size.

  • egad81 says:

    Nog vs Randy!! I am all for it

  • s00nertp says:

    “Davey D” I agree, I thought the same thing… but when I saw the wobble… it was clear he was rocked.

    I am still in shock Frank Mir of all people was able to pull that off. Incredible.

  • HexRei says:

    Mikee on December 31st, 2008 6:14 pm

    I’m sick of hearing excuses. Nog lost. Yes he is an incredibly talented fighter and is one of the best but he lost that fight to a better fighter that night and it gets old hearing excuse after excuse. I’m sick of the crybabies.

    Sounds like you’re the one crying…

  • Brandon says:

    I like how Dana is making excuses… I’m trying to understand what or how a staph infection + wars in Pride equals Nog having absolutely shitty boxing. The guy had zero head movement and was a punching bag….

  • LoneWolf says:

    Pride had “freak shows”!!? Uh, hello Dana, WTF do you think Lesnar is?!? When he fought Randy it look like a dad beating on his 12 year old son.


  • toxic says:

    Dana is saying Nog isn’t has fast as he used to be, and he was f’ed up from the staph infection, which isn’t a joke.

    Not trying to take anything away from Mir, but that was a ridiculously one sided fight. When a guy like Nog looks that bad something is wrong.

  • Don says:

    Well it’s simple. After Mir submits Lesner and takes the crown, his first title defense will be against a contractually mandated healthy Nogueira ( No staff infections or crap like that ) and no one will have anything to wine about. Nog is still a great fighter and should get back in the title hunt quickly. no one should be making excuses for poorly executed on game plan. He didn’t fight well and he lost. Now he will go back and look at the video of the fight and make adjustments’ and will come back and N0g will again be the most dangerous submission man in MMA . God Bless

  • CMT says:

    So everytime there is an upset in the UFC, are going to hear excuses?? Nog got beat by a better fighter that night, no excuses. If Nog was that weak coming off a staph infection, he should not have fought. Oh I forgot, greed. The UFC does have some whacked out match ups…Lesnar / Couture. Lesnar outweighed Couture by 60 pounds at the weigh in and no telling how much by fight time. Give me a break Dana.

  • Ervine383 says:

    I hope Nog makes a comeback, but i dont see it happening against Randy. Nog is good but he just didnt have an answer for Mir’s punches. I see much of the same against Couture. JMO

  • Tom Hodgson says:

    Mir completely outclassed Nog, fought intelligently, avoided the ground war, and rocked him one, two, three times. Hmmm, must have been the Staph infection! Way to stand by your champions who aren’t Liddell, Couture, or Anderson Silva, Dana.

    And right, no freakshows. Just Brock Lesnar, a hulking mass of muscle and assumable steroid mass.

    Guy needs to think before he speaks.

  • glock says:

    It’s plausible , but so what? Did it deprive him of the ability to move his head or use his superior ground game if he had no reflexes ?? This is Nog we’re talking about, he’s played this game……
    Brandon’s right.

  • EamonJGod says:

    I think that Dana shouldn’t be throwing a pity party for Nog, he should be getting behind the man that already beat the current champion. He should stand up and tell Brock to get ready for a Frank Mir that has greatly improved boxing if he’s gonna get behind some one like that. If you’re talking about one of the fighters health issue’s as a handicap it’s going to imply some things. I don’t think Nogueira has much of a shot at any of the top 3 HW’s in the ufc, so it’s almost like a waste of breathe to go on the radio and say he had health problems. Healthy or not he got handled by Mir, and he’s most likely going to fight Randy next. Since Randy took some shots from Lesnar that put Mir straight on his ass it doesn’t seem like a great fight for Nogueira. I don’t know if they quoted Dana out of context by not showing the whole interview and putting focus on this, but it seems to me like he was pulling for Nog when he should be more worried about title implications for later on.

  • NJMMAFAN says:

    Nobody forces Randy to fight at HW weighing 220 lbs. He fought Sylvia at 260 and won so he was no stranger to fighting a heavier opponent CMT. I agree that if Dana knew Nog was suffering the ill effects of a staph infection, he shouldnt have let him fight and put on an awful performance. Did Dana ever use the word “upset” when describing the fight? Probably not considering he is the reason mir is fighting for the title and dana knows frank mir is a capable fighter or he wouldnt have brought him back after the accident. Finally, Dana was doing that interview for much longer than the 30 seconds it would have taken him to say the above quote concerning pride and nogs prefight condition. Chances are he said some congratulatory remarks for Mir and whoever chose to use that excerpt for a story to get people talking….guess it worked

  • NJMMAFAN says:

    Possibly more offensive than any controversy caused by dana is the Clarence Dolloway adverts all over my screen

  • EamonJGod says:

    It’s not up to Dana, Nog was cleared to fight by the athletic commission so he couldn’t have been that bad if he wasn’t on suspension during TUF or his training camp leading up to the fight.

  • NJMMAFan says:

    True but most fighters are looking out for their lively hood, if dana is just speculating he was sick, then its inappropriate for him to comment. If he didnt know till after the fight, maybe nog kept it from them so he could fight and earn a check. Maybe nog did what shamrock didnt and decide to put on a show regardless of his physical state to make money and entertain the fans. JMO

  • colin61 says:

    Frank Mir is always underestimated. Lets not forget this guy had a horrific accident 3 years ago and has fought his way back. To me it looks like he now has his conditioning sorted and he continues to grow and grow.

  • Brandon says:

    Thank you glock….

    I rewatched the fight again and clearly he lost because he was outclassed. Rogan kept bringing up the fact that Nog was boxing absolutely poorly and that he could minimize or avoid any damage had he stepped laterally instead of just steping forward continually into Mir’s punches (and his range).

    Staph infection “may” have played a part had it been a long grueling affair where his energy was drained… the only thing Dana may be correct on is that Nog is punch drunk and that after the first uppercut his brain was scrambled and this was why he was fighting so poorly. But I doubt this very much since he had more then enough time to recover…

    What I think is Nog was over confident and over rated on his striking game… everyone keeps mentioning how he trained with the cuban boxing team with his bro and how both are great boxers…. yet correct me if I’m wrong Nog has been clocked and nearly KO’d his last 3 fights and Little Nog was Knocked clean out by a wild puncher (Sokodjou)…. I think the Nog’s are way over rated on their boxing and stand up skills….

  • Mike says:

    Dana White is the most classless CEO I’ve ever seen. He only cares about two things: Brock Lesnar, and his own bank account. He only cares about Lesnar because he adds to the latter.

  • aaron says:

    i would have let it go for a few more seconds if he didnt defend call it, but nog is notorious for getting out of stuff like that btw herb dean is my fav ref

  • aaron says:

    oh yeah and why does everybody bash dana white if it wernt for him we wouldnt be watching the great fights we see, you’d rather see k1 over ufc? gimmie a break…better yet give dana white a break

  • darkmetal says:

    The problem that I keep noticing is that people are completely disregarding how poor Nog looked in this fight. It wasn’t just that Mir looked great, which I agree he did look much better in his striking, but that Nog looked overweight and slow.

    Now when you compare the Nog you saw in this fight with Brock Lesnar, you are talking about 2 different animals. While Nog was slow, lumbering, and seemed a bit “out of it” Lesnar will come out blasting and utilize his superior power, speed and endurance over Mir. And if Mir thinks he can catch him in a sub all that easily next time, he better not bet his house on it.

    Mir’s best chance might be to evade, leg kick to reduce Lesnar’s speed and mobility, then launch his boxing strategy. The problem is that Lesnar is so damn fast to begin with, I don’t see that he can evade him easily.

  • akartis says:

    Ok, Nog got rocked plain and simple. Mir won the fight and there is no doubting that. They are both excellent fighters and I don’t think that anyone would deny that. We all know that fighters have good days and bad. What gets me are the comments that Dana White proceeded to make. Especially the comments on Pride ruining fighters because of no weight class. Are you freaking kidding me? Some of you have mentioned the Lesnar vs. Coture fight. This is a prime example of Dana being a complete slime ball who is turning the UFC into the WWE. I am not disputing that Lesnar won. What I am disputing is the 265 lbs. he supposedly weighed in at. Are you kidding me? You would have to be a blind retarded monkey to believe that he weighed in at 265 lbs. There is no way in hell that freak has ever weighed in at 265 lbs. and I do not understand why someone has not contested the fact. I am really starting to feel like the UFC is turning into the WWE.

  • yuushi says:

    LoneWolf said:

    Pride had “freak shows”!!? Uh, hello Dana, WTF do you think Lesnar is?!?

    A talented former Collegiate Wrestler who made the 265 lb weight limit for Heavyweight.

    A far cry from the freakshows like the 7′ L.A. Giant (whose first fight ever in MMA was in PRIDE), 7′ 4″ Giant Silva (ditto), Zuluzinho, etc.; who couldn’t make the cut to any weight class but Super Heavyweight (since there’s no limit on that) unless they cut off a leg or something.

  • kentuckyfightfan says:

    Uh yes freak fights. In case you don’t understand…Lesner has to make weight at 265. So someone being outweighed the way Sapp did Nog will never happen!

  • King Solomon says:

    Brothers they stopped that fight waaaaaay to early. They Let the Griffen pounding go for wayy longer. and what about the kongo fight. al turk took a beating befor they stopped it.

    Fuck Herb dean and the ufc with there ass kissin mir.

    Nog wouldnt beat him in the 4th round.

  • darkmetal says:

    There is no way to “fudge” weigh-ins, as it is part of the regulatory process.
    And since Lesnar walks around at about 276 or so, the cut for him is probably not that hard. I suspect there is alot of water in that big body;)

    If you want to blame anyone for going in to face Lesnar, blame guys who sneak over the lower limit like Couture (not that he is complaining) only to face true heavyweights.

    Mir better have a great gameplan against Lesnar, or it will be a very hard fight for him.

  • babalu says:

    dana is a bitch,we always know him as a rubbish talker,greedy bastard!!!

  • glock says:

    What about Kimo / Gracie ? I can’t get enough of that “freak show”……

    I’m with darkmetal, though there ARE regulations.
    Evolution of the HW Div. to bigger, stronger, faster… That’s the way it goes.

    Mir looked phenomenal, Nog looked bad, and Mir is gonna face a big, fast, scary, powerful, guy with an 81” reach…

    Mir is not gonna have a fun night, however it goes, but I see him being overwhelmed again.

  • JBAR says:

    It doesn’t have anything to do with how big the opponent is, Nog just takes alot of punishment in his fights. 220 lb Keith Hackney did not take much punishment against 600 lb plus Emanual Yarborough. Royce Gracie fought alot of guys much bigger than him and did not absorb that kind of punishment. Nog’s ability to take a punch causes him to place less emphasis on defense, it’s just his style.
    As far as Dana and the Staph infection part, as bad as Nog looked he needs an excuse to help keep people interested in his next fight. Not the hard core fans but the ones new to the sport or the casual fan. Need to keep them interested so they will buy the next PPV.

  • babalu says:

    yap jbar youre ryt.

  • matthew says:

    After returning from holidays i was most disappointed to see the replay of this fight. I must, however, eat my words (as i said i would) and congratulate Frank Mir. Much improved standup, fantastic use of multiple punch combos and a different fighter on his feet. I truly am shocked and retract all my statements about him having no chance.

    Having said that, Nog was off with the fairies. A mere shade of the Nog i have seen over the years and perhaps the calls for a step back from competition are warranted.

    JBAR i also completely agree. Dana has to find some reason to excuse Nog’s dismal performance or else his next fight (possibly against randy) will not reach projected PPV/ticket sales targets. All round, Nog would have been better to forgo this fight when he new of any infection. A reschedule could’ve been made (although halting the unification of the HW belt slightly). But i like many others feel Nog was simply outclassed by a better fighter and excuses are now being made.

  • EddieLBarker says:

    Its been a while since i watched the fight, but from what i remember Mir really only stuck with a cross/uppercut/hook combination from his southpaw stance. Nog ate a lot of those uppercuts and didn’t use much defense outside of just back peddling. Mir also did a good job standing himself up and avoiding nog’s ground game. I felt mir just came in with a good game plan that night.


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