clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

'Broken' Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira reveals 22 surgeries, fought Roy Nelson with torn knee ligament

New, comments
Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Having competed in mixed martial arts (MMA) for 16 years, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira has earned more than his fair share of bumps and bruises.

But, just how much damage has the former Pride FC and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight champion endured throughout his legendary career?

Enough to warrant one surgery after another ... after another.

In fact, "Big Nog" recently told Sherdog, he's "all broken" after going under the knife more than he'd like, including having eight surgeries in the last five years alone.

"I have done a total of 22 surgeries -- I'm all broken. I started my surgery career early, at 11 years old when I was hit by the truck. However, the last five years were more difficult. I had eight surgeries. I have 16 metal screws in my right arm, from the elbow to the shoulder, and they are extremely painful at the beginning of a training camp and also when the temperature changes. I also had a surgery on my left arm and two on my hips. Those four surgeries were pivotal in my decision to retire."

Dr. Marcio Tannure was present alongside Nogueira at the 2015 Rio Sports & Health conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, revealing that the Brazilian bomber fought Roy Nelson with a torn knee ligament in 2014.

It's a fight "Big Nog" lost via first-round knockout.

"When I arrived in Abu Dhabi for fight week, ‘Minotauro' came to me and said, ‘Doctor, I was sparring yesterday when I heard a snap. I think something happened.' This was three days before the fight, and he entered the Octagon barely able to walk. I told him that few human beings would be able to fight with such strong pain. This guy is definitely a cyborg."

Question is, if Tannure was aware of the injury, why did he give Nogueira the green light to step into the Octagon?

Regardless, at age of 39, Nogueira finally called it a career after suffering a unanimous decision loss to Stevan Strufe at UFC 190 last August.

Now, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist will trade getting punched in the face -- and having his limbs snapped -- for a job with the MMA promotion he's called home for the last eight years.

It's a well-deserved position ... even if some don't agree with it.