Life after UFC used to mean signing autographs at a car dealership in New Jersey.
These days, former cage fighters have enough name recognition to continue their combat sports careers in other disciplines, like jiu-jitsu tournaments and boxing matches. So it should come as no surprise to learn that Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is making his way back to the “sweet science.”
“Little Nog” will throw hands against fellow UFC veteran Leonardo Guimaraes, a 220-pound showdown that is expected to co-headline “Fight Music Show” pay-per-view (PPV) on Jan. 30 in Balneario Camburiu, Brazil, according to a report from MMA Fighting.
“We can bring back athletes that in theory were going to retire, like Rogerio ‘Minotouro,’” Fight Music CEO Mama Brito told told Guilherme Cruz. “And for my next event I’m already negotiating with Wanderlei Silva. I’m going after fighters that are idols of an entire generation and everybody wants to watch them fight live.”
Nogueira, 45, retired from MMA following a split-decision loss to longtime rival Mauricio Rua at UFC on ESPN 14 back in summer 2020. The Brazilian is an accomplished boxer, having previously captured a bronze medal for Brazil at the 2007 Pan-American Games in Rio.
Fight Music Show will be headlined by a 165-pound boxing match between former WBO and WBA champion Acelino Freitas (41-2) and social media sensation Whindersson Nunes (0-0). Elsewhere on the card, Olympic silver medalist Esquiva Falcao (29-0) battles ex-Big Brother star Yuri Fernandes (0-0) under exhibition rules.