Prior to Saturday, Nogueira was coming off an embarrassing loss to Frank Mir at UFC 92, and many were considering the former UFC and Pride champion well past his prime.
It seems the 33 year old Brazilian has silenced his critics and put himself right back into title contention with an electrifying decision win over Hall of Famer, Randy Couture. In a bout that critics are already nominating as Fight of the Year, Nogueira proved he stills belongs in the top heavyweight pound-for pound rankings.
The veteran submission specialist recently spoke about which future opponents he would like to face, recently stating in a conversation with MMAWeekly.com, “I like big fights like that. I’ll be ready if they gave me a good opponent. It would be my pleasure, but if they gave me a title shot, it would be awesome.”
Asked how he would match up against current UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, Big Nog continued,“I have more experience than him (Lesnar). That’s a big advantage I have. A lot of jiu-jitsu and good standing up, make him tired man, move around, move around. When I get his timing, hit him with a good right hand and box him, box him and get him tired. I’ve been in there a long time. I can see what’s going on. If he goes on the top into my guard, I can play with him. Let’s see, let’s see what is going to happen.”
It remains to be seen what the UFC has planned for the newly rejuvenated Nogueira, but if Saturdays win was any indication of what’s in store for the future, it only takes one fight to wake a sleeping giant.