UFC legend Anderson Silva was set to coach the fourth season of "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil" in Las Vegas against fellow former champion Mauricio Rua, but the Nevada Athletic Commission pulled Silva from the coaching gig after he failed an out-of-competition drug test.
Silva, who tested positive for two banned substances in a pre-UFC 183 drug test in January. was removed from the reality show days after the beginning of the TUF tapings, so the UFC called twin brothers Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira to replace him.
The Nogueiras kept working with Silva’s assistant coaches Ramon Lemos, Rogerio Camoes, Edelson Silva, Richardson Moreira and Kenny Johnson, but it wasn’t easy.
"We were in a difficult situation, especially because of how Anderson left," "Minotauro" told the media recently. "To go there and replace the biggest idol of our sport and continue his job with the fighters Anderson Silva picked... We had to change the plane’s fuel during the flight. They made the whole preparation before we got there. It was tough."
"They told us four days before and it was a big surprise for all the athletes on the show," Rogerio Nogueira said. "They announced the change, Anderson left and we entered the gym to coach his team. It was a tense moment. We have Anderson Silva as a great idol, so it was hard to replace him."
According to Big Nog, all fighters felt when "The Spider" had to leave the show.
"They were crestfallen," he said. "They felt it a lot, so we had to work even harder to motivate them, and that’s why I bring Rogerio with me."
The Ultimate Fighter airs on Globo in Brazil, and coaching in opposite to Silva would be great for "Shogun" Rua. However, he believes that having both Nogueiras on the show made it interesting for the fans.
"I was sad that Anderson Silva was there for one week and then left," Rua said. "It’s not fair that I have to coach against Rodrigo and Rogerio now [laughs], but it brings the show back up. Anderson Silva is our idol, a legend of the sport. Everybody wanted to see him on TUF, but they replaced him with good names. They are two legends of the sport. I was sad when Anderson Silva left because of the commission, but I was happy when Rodrigo and Rogerio entered the show."