A couple UFC news items in the light heavyweight division…
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Minotauro’s twin brother, is currently in “positive negotiations” with the UFC to come fight for the organization according to his manager, Ed Soares. Minotauro broke the news earlier this afternoon on the UFC 102 conference call.
“[The UFC] already talked to him, they’re dealing with my brother, so for sure he’s coming to the UFC,” Rodrigo said Tuesday in a media call. “You going to hear that. They’re almost closed the deal. There’s just some things – but he’s coming to the UFC. He’s here for sure.”
Since PRIDE collapsed, Lil’ Nog has been bouncing around promotions most notably fighting for Affliction and Sengoku against opponents no one is going to mistake for “top competition,” so it will be good to see him tested and find out where he stands.
The significance of this potential signing really has more to do with Strikeforce than the UFC though. This past weekend they crowned Gegard Mousasi as their new light heavyweight champion, and his toughest competition in their 205 lbs. weight class? Babalu, the fighter he just starched in under a minute to win the belt. Needless to say, Strikeforce could have used a fighter like Nogueira to give Mousasi a decent challenge, but it doesn’t look like they’re going to get him which leaves fights against Rafael Feijao, Kevin Randleman and Mike Whitehead as their best offerings. Time to get creative Strikeforce (hint, hint – convince him to move back down to middleweight).
Moving on, Tito Ortiz vs Mark Coleman has been confirmed for UFC 106. It’s an interesting style match-up and should be a good test for both men. They’re both known for their wrestling and ground n’ pound, so it should be interesting to see wins that battle. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Tito takes it, but as Coleman showed us against Bonnar, you can’t count “The Hammer” out.