A UFC legend announced his retirement from MMA on Saturday night after suffering yet another heartbreaking loss to a longtime rival. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira desperately wanted his last MMA fight to go his way. The 44-year-old was again pitted against 38-year-old legend Maurício “Shogun” Rua for the third time in his career. Nogueira entered what turned out to be the final fight of his MMA career 0-2 against Rua, and it seemed he might be on his way to scoring the victory.
But Rua earned the split-decision win on the scorecards, so Nogueira finished his career with yet another loss on his record to Rua.
“I think that is going to be my last one,” Nogueira announced during his post-fight interview. “I know I can fight, but I think its time.”
You can watch Nogueira confirm his retirement plans below.
Epic Trilogy Took 15 Years to Complete
Their first meeting was way back in 2005 under the PRIDE banner in Japan. In that fight, Rua scored the win via unanimous decision.
Their rematch occurred a whole decade later at UFC 190 in 2015. Once again, Rua beat Nogueira by unanimous decision.
Now the two met for the third at UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Till on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
Rua entered the fight 4-1-1 over his last six fights while Nogueira had lost four out of his last six.
But Nogueira boxed well over the three rounds to the point that it looked like he might earn the nod, but ultimately Rua’s takedowns netted him the win.
Now Nogueira retires after losing five out of his last seven fights. The fighter also painfully went 0-3 in his career against Rua.
Nogueira finishes his MMA career 23-9.
MMA Community Reacts to Nogueira’s Retirement
The MMA community took to social media to express their thoughts and opinions about Nogueira’s retirement.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto posted, “Damn. The look on Lil Nog’s face as he says he’s done and it’s time for the new generation, you can tell he’s struggling to accept it as he says it … damn you Father Time.”
UFC bantamweight contender Aljamain Sterling said, “I feel for Nogueira here… tough loss to swallow. I don’t think he loss but I don’t think he won either? To go out in a classic fight like that, is nothing to hang his head about.”
Nolan King posted, “Antonio Rogerio Nogueira officially retires in his post-fight interview with Dan Hardy. Legend.”
You can watch the final moments of Nogueira’s career below.
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