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‘Minotouro’ Nogueira to ‘probably’ retire after trilogy bout with ‘Shogun’ Rua at UFC 250

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Mauricio Rua vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (Alexandre Loureiro, Inovafoto)
A trilogy bout between Brazilian veterans Mauricio Rua, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is set for UFC 250.
Alexandre Loureiro, Inovafoto

When Antonio Rogerio Nogueira withdrew from a fight with Trevor Smith with a back injury, his twin brother and UFC executive Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira expected “Minotouro” to hang up his gloves the next time he left the Octagon.

A few months have passed, and that still seems to be the plan for the Bahia native.

Nogueira is scheduled to face former UFC and PRIDE champion Mauricio Rua in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on May 9, and the 43-year-old veteran confirmed he will “probably” leave the sport after his upcoming clash at UFC 250, which also is the last bout of his current deal with the promotion.

“This fight will probably be the last fight of my career, my farewell fight,” Nogueira said, “So being able to have this rematch with ‘Shogun’ is both challenging and motivating. I thank ‘Shogun’ for giving me this opportunity. I’m sure we’ll put on a great fight again.”

Rua and Nogueira first fought in 2005 and met again a decade later, with “Shogun” winning a pair of close decisions.

“I was looking for a fight that made sense for me,” he said, “and this fight with ‘Shogun’ makes lot of sense for me because we started it in 2005 with one of the most memorable fights in MMA history, one of the best in PRIDE history. That fight in 2005 was very, very close. I believe I had the advantage, but they gave it to him. But the fight we did in 2015, I’m fully aware that I won the first two rounds. He took me down in the third round, but that fight was mine.

“I contested that decision a lot and Dana White even promised me a rematch. Five years later, I have the opportunity to fight him again. It’s the fight that makes sense for me to come back.”

Nogueira went 2-2 since that rematch in 2015 with all four fights ended by knockout, while Rua had a 3-1-1 run in the Octagon with a pair of third-round finishes in his favor.