Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira says his fight with Randy Couture at UFC 101 has not been signed, but he also says he expects the fight to happen, and he is already formulating a game plan.
"It has not been signed but we've been talking about it," Nogueira told MMACanada.net. "I've been talking to the matchmakers of the UFC and pretty much, we've confirmed. They asked me if I want to and I said I'll go and I really want to do that fight."
Asked about Couture's weaknesses, Nogueira said, "When his back is on the ground. I think also some of his distance -- he doesn't move his head too much. But when he's in the clinch he's the best. I've got to escape his clinch."
For Nogueira, a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt, the key will be getting on top of Couture.
"If we go to the ground I'm better than him," Nogueira said. "I have to avoid his striking on the ground, but I can use jiu jitsu and try to submit him."
But while Nogueira is confident he'll beat Couture, he also clearly has a lot of respect for The Natural, who is 13 years older than Minotauro.
"That guy's not normal," Nogueira said. "He's 45 and he's in better shape than most fighters."
Nogueira also told MMACanada.net that he was suffering from a staph infection when he lost his last fight, to Frank Mir at UFC 92. But he added, "It's no excuse. ... Mir fought very well. ... He had an amazing night."
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