It doesn't look as if former Pride FC and UFC interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is going to get that rematch he wanted with Frank Mir -- at least not yet.
But as far as consolation prizes go, he's going to do a helluva lot better than a year's supply of Turtle Wax.
"Minotauro" is being penciled in for an early 2010 appearance against the winner of Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin at UFC 106 on November 21 for the heavyweight championship, according to The Wrestling Observer via Inside Fights.
The Brazilian coughed up his Interim title to Mir at UFC 92 in December 2008. It was a bout in which the grizzled veteran was finished for the first time in his career.
Nog supporters blamed a Staph infection for his lifeless performance. The Mir side credits the victory to the Las Vegas native's improved striking and perfectly executed gameplan.
Whatever the case, Nogueira looked like his old self when he returned to best former division kingpin Randy Couture at UFC 102 in Portland. The win was not only "Fight of the Night," but impressive enough to land him another crack at the UFC gold.
UFC 106: "Lesnar vs. Carwin" is set to go down at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Nov. 21. The event will also include the promotional debut of Minotauro's twin brother Antonio Rogerio Nogueira as he takes on Luis "Banha" Cane.
And if Big Nog can go all the way, don't be surprised to see Frank Mir waiting for him in the second half of 2010, assuming he gets past Cheick Kongo at UFC 107.
Lesnar, Carwin, Nogueira and Mir. Anyone want to start laying odds as to who will be the champ this time next year after all the dust settles?