Minotauro Believes in Silva

"He told me he’s coming back stronger, and that’s what I see." - Minotauro Nogueira
UFC heavyweight Minotauro NogueiraLAS VEGAS, December 26 – It takes a legend to know a legend. So when Anderson Silva lost his UFC middleweight title to Chris Weidman in July, the first time he tasted defeat in 17 UFC fights, it’s no surprise that the man who knew best what the Brazilian icon was going through was one of his mentors and friends, Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira.

“When you’re undefeated, everybody feels like you’re perfect, like you’re not human,” said Nogueira Thursday after the final press conference for the UFC 168 card headlined by the rematch between Silva and Weidman. “He had a bad day that day and he knows that.”

For the longest time, Silva didn’t have bad days, having remained unbeaten for over seven years, with even that last pre-Weidman loss coming via disqualification against Yushin Okami in 2006. And while Nogueira never had an undefeated streak that long, his 13-0 run from 2000 to 2003 established him as the best heavyweight in the game. In fact, take the name of another heavyweight star, Fedor Emelianenko (who beat him twice), off his record, and Nogueira went 22-0 with 1 NC from 2000 to 2006, making it no shocker that Minotauro can relate to Silva’s dilemma before the first fight against Weidman.

“When you’ve got a belt and you fight for it as many times as he did, he had a lot of pressure on him,” said Nogueira. “He defended the belt more than ten times, and to almost always fight outside of his hometown and home country, it’s a lot.”

Nogueira makes it a point to not throw water on Weidman’s victory though, calling him a “strong and really good fighter.”

That’s not to say Weidman’s second round knockout win wasn’t shocking, though as the former PRIDE and UFC heavyweight champion points out, at this level, you’ve got to be prepared for anything.

“I was surprised, but he was fighting a guy who’s at a good level too, so the only thing you know is that someone is going to win,” he said. “You’ve got to be prepared to lose when you’re an athlete at a high level. But I was surprised of course. He (Weidman) kept going, he was hungry, he was strong in his mind, and he surprised everyone, but it’s good to see how Anderson reacted after that, and it made him hungry. It makes a new story for the sport.”

That story is one of redemption, of regaining the spark that made him an all-time great, and turning back the clock at 38 years old. Can he do it? Nogueira likes what he’s seen since the last fight.

“He’s fighting for the belt, so he’s hungry,” said the Brazilian star. “He spent a lot of time with his family, and he had a really good camp. He told me he feels like he has no pressure now. That’s why he’s relaxed. He told me he’s coming back stronger, and that’s what I see. He was motivated, he called everybody to train and he would get mad when people would come late. (Laughs) That shows he’s motivated.”


Midia

Recente
Dan Hardy and John Gooden guide you through UFC 191 in Unibet's Inside The Octagon. Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson meet each other for the flyweight belt as Andrei Arlovski and Frank Mir face off in the co-main event.
02/09/2015
Contagem regressiva para o UFC 191 mostra as preparações dos seis atletas principais. Acompanhe de perto as rotinas e os bastidores das vidas e dos treinos de Demetrious Johnson, John Dodson, Frank Mir, Andrei Arlovski, Anthony Johnson e Jimi Manuwa.
02/09/2015
No primeiro combate, em janeiro de 2013, Demetrious Johson levou a melhor e venceu John Dodson por decisão unânime. Agora, os dois lutadores voltam a se enfrentar no dia 05 de setembro, no UFC 191.
31/08/2015
O campeão da categoria peso-pena Demetrious Johnson defende o cinturão contra John Dodson no UFC 191, no dia 05 de setembro (sábado), em Las Vegas (EUA). A segunda luta mais importante da noite será entre os pesos pesados Frank Mir e Andrei Arlovski.
31/08/2015