Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will hold a special media conference call today (Nov. 8, 2012) to officially introduce The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Brazil 2.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is the former Pride Heavyweight Champion and UFC interim heavyweight champion. The heavyweight legend has secured his place in history throughout a long and storied career and most recently returned from a lengthy injury to defeat Dave Herman via submission at UFC 153 in Rio..
Fabricio Werdum is a world champion Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt on the ground who has slowly and steadily been developing his overall mixed martial arts game. After an up and down original stint in the UFC, he found tremendous success in Strikeforce and has returned with a vengeance, defeating the likes of Antonio Silva and Fedor Emelianenko along the way to vault his way to the top five of most heavyweight rankings.
Both men will be coaching against each other for TUF Brazil and will be looking to rematch a 2006 fight from Pride, which saw Nogueira win a unanimous decision.
Brian Hemminger here. The conference call is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. ET.
Fabricio Werdum: I was very happy. I was in Brazil for Anderson just this last month and people were talking about the possibility of me being on TUF. I thought it would be Shogun and Lyoto but I'm honored to be coaching in Brazil against Nogueira. We fought in 2006 and Nogueira was more experienced then and I got beat up in that fight. I'm much stronger now.
Big Nog: It's gonna be a very good experience. We've got seven coaches from Team Nogueira and we're gonna do the same as in our gym. We'll try to find new good talent and try to help the guys to be on the UFC level. I'm very happy to fight Fabricio Werdum. He proved a lot in his last few fights and I'm pretty sure we're gonna make a very good fight.
Fabricio Werdum: It was a surprise for me when I was in Brazil that people were mentioning me as maybe a coach. I didn't think I was as known in Brazil as Shogun and Nogueira and Lyoto. The reality began since I heard from people in Brazil.
Fabricio Werdum: I wasn't offered the Daniel Cormier fight. I went to the media and said I'd be willing to take it to save the event but it was never offered.
Fabricio Werdum: To have chance to fight Nogueira after seven years, I've really evolved my game. I think our goal is to win the title and I need to win this fight to be in contention.
Big Nog: There's no chance I'd fight Junior dos Santos. We've been friends since he started his jiu-jitsu training. I do still want to be champion and I'd love to fight for the belt (if it's not him). This fight is going to be very important for me because with each fight you win or lose is a step forward or a step back.
Big Nog: The fight against Herman for sure was a challenge for me. It was a really big amount of damage to my arm. I broke my arm and had sixteen screws in my arm and I had to prove to myself I could go back into the cage and fight and do it in Brazil. It was a big step and it was very important to me to prove I was back and was one of the best guys in the heavyweight division. I'm back again. It was a very important fight for me.
Fabricio Werdum: Nogueira was a lot more experienced than I was in Pride. It's changed a lot and in my past fights in the UFC, I showed I have knockout power and I won Fight of the Night. I have shown and all around MMA game so it's changed a lot.
Fabricio Werdum: I've always looked up to Nogueira to this day, with the things he's overcome and the diversity with his injuries. I've looked up to him for his jiu-jitsu and Wanderlei for his aggression. It's an honor to be at that level today and to be fighting Nogueira.
Big Nog: We're gonna do our best to put on a show. I want to for sure win my fight and I'll do the best for that. We're gonna push the best training and the best technique for them.
That's a wrap folks. Thanks for stopping by!