The first time Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira encountered Fabricio Werdum, it was in the quarterfinals of the 2006 Pride Open Weight Grand Prix, a bout "Minotauro" won by unanimous decision. Now, the two will square off again in the main event of tonight's (Sat., June 8, 2013) UFC on FUEL TV 10 event in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Nogueira on the first fight and what should be different this time around:
"In our first fight my stand up experience counted for a lot. I was much more experienced with many more hours of fighting in the ring. I used my boxing to find the distance standing up. I succeeded to dominate the fight and cause some knockdowns. I had better footwork. I expect Werdum to be better in the stand up and with his knees. I believe my hands are still faster and heavier. Confidently my strategy will be to use my hands. I also want to grapple with him in this fight. It will be a great fight. He is also a submission specialist. Everyone wants to see who is the better fighter. We are two great representatives for Brazil, and this will be a great fight for the people from Fortaleza to watch."
Werdum on the exact same subject:
"I think this fight will be a lot different than our last fight in 2006. I was a newcomer, but Minotauro was already a champion in the event. He was already very famous in MMA. I was purely a jiu-jitsu fighter. He defeated me; he used his experience against me as a young new fighter. I learned a lot from that fight as well. I lost to him, but I learned a lot from that loss. The main difference for me in this fight is that I've specialized and evolved with my career. Today I'm a more complete professional, and now I'm specialized in Muay Thai as well. ... I'm not saying that I am a striker now but I got better in everything, like how it should be. I know how to throw punches and kicks at the right moment."
Who's going to take it, Maniacs? Tune in later on this evening to find out!
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire card on Saturday (June 8, 2013), starting with the Facebook "Prelims," which are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. ET, as well as the main card, which is slated to air at 8 p.m. ET on FUEL TV.
For complete coverage of the UFC on FUEL TV 10 event click here.