If Junior dos Santos needs any extra motivation for his upcoming title defense against Frank Mir at UFC 146, it’s right here in this video clip.
Behind the scenes at UFC 140 in this first installment of Dana White’s UFC 141 video blog.
Well, I guess this is what not tapping will get you…
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira may have lost to Frank Mir once again at UFC 140, but up until the final moments of the fight when Mir cranked his arm to its breaking point, Big Nog actually looked really good. He took command of the fight early on and even rocked Mir to the point where a few more punches probably would have finished him off. But instead of continuing to hammer Mir as he laid motionless on the canvas after a desperate takedown attempt, Big Nog transitioned to a guillotine which ultimately led to Mir snatching up the fight-ending kimura.
It was a critical mistake that left many wondering what a veteran fighter like Big Nog was thinking. Well, if you ask Nogueira, he only stopped because referee Herb Dean mistakenly told him to stop punching Mir in the neck.
“Last Saturday I fought and lost via submission for the first time in my career; it was a bad feeling, but it’s part of the sport. Everything that happens in a fight is quick and the fighter acts most based on his instincts and reflexes than [what's] on his mind. I knew I made a mistake as I tried to submit [my opponent] on a fight where I could have won by KO,” Nogueira wrote. “But when Frank Mir was practically knocked out I heard the referee tell me to stop punching him at the neck and that is when I tried to choke him. Mir put himself together and must be congratulated for submitting me. I checked the videos and I wasn’t hitting him on the neck, but on Mir’s side of the head, which is allowed.”
For what it’s worth, the replay shows pretty clearly that Big Nog was not punching Mir in the neck. In hindsight, he obviously should have just ignored Dean and kept punching, but he made a split-second judgement call in the heat of battle. I’m sure it seemed like the right one at the time, but Mir was apparently still coherent enough to put some slick grappling moves on the PRIDE legend. Kudos to Mir.
Herb Dean hasn’t commented on the story yet, but he did talk to Sherdog about the stoppage. He never wanted to see his arm break, but he felt like he should let it go because of Big Nog’s ability to overcome seemingly impossible situations.
“In my mind, I was hoping that he would tap. Like, ‘Please, please make this easy for me. That looks like it’s on.’ I definitely [had a] heightened awareness at that time. I was really focused on that arm. But that’s how Antonio became who he is — he didn’t get there by giving up. That guy’s done things that everyone thought was impossible time and time again because he never gives up.”
“I stopped it because I saw the arm break. The tap came after. I don’t stop it when I believe it’s locked on or even if I believe the guy’s in jeopardy because I don’t know what that person can take. I don’t know what their limits are, but if I see an injury that is too dangerous for the fight to continue, that’s when I’m going to stop the fight. Or if I see the fighter tap.”
If only he would have kept punching…
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira ended up needing surgery on that broken arm of his after all.
Tatame is reporting that Nogueira went under the knife last Friday after new tests deemed surgery necessary.
But it seems like the plans have changed. Rodrigo was operated last Friday (16th) at Vail, Colorado, and the surgery was a success. The doctors say he might return to the trains in June. Rodrigo went to Vail and went through new tests, which pointed out the need of the surgery. His biceps wasn’t touched during the process. The “entrance” was made on the triceps, what means he won’t lose strenght on this very arm.
A more detailed description of the situation as explained by Dr. Tom Hackett was posted on the Nogueira brothers official website.
Mr. Nogueira suffered a complex fracture of his right humerus. The fracture started at the mid-portion of the bone and extended into his elbow region. Unfortunately, the radial nerve(one of the main nerves that gives power and sensation to the hand) was injured by the event. The nerve was in the area of the fracture and the bone was pinching the nerve. Prior to the surgery he had very little strength in his hand and no strength in his thumb.
The surgery involved an incision down the back of his arm. The nerve was taken out of the fracture site and treated. The fracture was fixed with a plate and 16 screws and now less than 12 hours after the surgery the function is returning to his hand and the bone is fixed. We anticipate initiating range of motion exercises today and will start strengthening in the next month. If everything goes well he will begin full training in the next several months and should be 100% for competition fighting in six months or less. We anticipate a complete and full recovery.
So if everything goes well, Nogueira should be ready to get back in the cage sometime next summer.
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Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira has opted forgo surgery on his right arm.
Dana White informed media members after UFC 140 that damage had been done to Big Nog’s shoulder and elbow when he refused to tap to the fight-ending kimura Frank Mir locked in at UFC 140. Furthermore, an x-ray the UFC tweeted clearly showed that his right humerus had been snapped as well. It was assumed that Nogueira would need surgery, but after seeing orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Itamura in LA today, surgery was deemed unnecessary.
Big Nog’s twin brother Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who picked up a win against Tito Ortiz at UFC 140, informed everyone of the news earlier this evening.
“We’ve just had a medical diagnosis,” wrote Minotoro. “He said he would prefer not to do surgery, that [the bone] will calcify by itself and that in five months, he’s fighting again.”
UFC officials referred Nogueira to Dr. Itamura, who prescribed twice-a-day ultrasound therapy and fitted “Big Nog” with a brace. The plastic accessory will allow Nogueira to move his arm, something the pure plaster of a hard cast would not.
Meanwhile, Frank Mir appeared on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani earlier today and expressed regret that damage was done to the arm.
“I just locked it up and I wanted to make sure he didn’t get out,” Mir said. “I’m locking up a submission, and in my mind I want to keep applying force and don’t lose it.”
“I just want to win the fight,” Mir said. “The fact that you have to go get medical treatment after it, I don’t take credit for that. That sucked. He’s another martial artist I hope he can go back to the gym Monday like everyone else.”
Well, it wasn’t this Monday and won’t be the next, but Nogueira will be back in the gym sooner than most expected when they witnessed the horrific snap replay over and over again during the UFC 140 broadcast.
If you’re interested in exactly how Frank Mir pulled off the first successful submission of Big Nog, Rener and Ryron Gracie did a complete video breakdown here.
Rener and Ryron Gracie break down the jiu-jitsu sequences from the TUF 14 Finale and UFC 140 including the arm-breaking kimura that Frank Mir submitted Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira with. As always, it’s an excellent technical analysis for anyone interested in learning about the jiu-jitsu techniques the top fighters use in the cage.
“Fighters get into this place when they’re fighting — Jon choked him out but he was in this zone. So I said to Jon, ‘Go check on Machida and get yourself some fans,’ which was a dumb thing to say. What I was trying to convey to him was, You’re a professional athlete and there’s ring decorum, and I should have said ‘Remember the fans’ because everyone is watching what you do. I misspoke… ‘Go check on him and the fans will appreciate it’ was what I meant, but I’m a bonehead sometimes and it came out wrong, which wasn’t my intention at all… I wasn’t trying to manipulate Jon.”
— Greg Jackson on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani explaining what he meant when he told Jon Jones to check on Lyoto Machida to “get some fans”
What do you think? Genuine explanation or damage control?
Following Jones’ dramatic finish of former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida at UFC 140, Dana didn’t hesitate to declare Jones as the number two pound-for-pound fighter in MMA when asked about it in a post-fight scrum. Transcription via MMA Mania:
“Number two. I mean, I don’t know how you deny the guy anymore, he’s literally walked through everybody. He’s fought four times this year, probably the nastiest schedule in the history of the company. He’s incredible, man. He’s just walkin’ through serious, serious guys. And bustin’ ‘em up bad. Stopping them, finishing them, you don’t see somebody come in and wreck people like this guy.”
It’s hard to argue with him. Georges St. Pierre has long occupied the second spot on many people’s lists, but he hasn’t fought in nearly eight months and won’t for at least another 10. Moreover, GSP hasn’t finished anyone since Matt Serra at UFC 83 unless you count BJ Penn’s corner throwing in the towel at UFC 94. He’s been dominant, sure, but not spectacular like Jones who hasn’t had a fight go to a decision since he fought Stephan Bonnar at UFC 94.
Just because Silva and Jones now sit at the top of Dana’s P4P list though, don’t expect him to start teasing a Silva vs. Jones super fight like he often did with Silva and St. Pierre. In fact, he’s still saying pretty much the exact opposite.
“I don’t see that fight happening anytime soon,” White said at this weekend’s UFC 140 post-event press conference at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.
“I just think Jon Jones is young,” White said. “He’s 24 years old. He’s just getting out there and fighting all the best in the light heavyweight division.
“What people have to realize, too, is Anderson Silva is 37 years old. They’re in two different weightclasses.”
Unfortunately, we’ll probably never see it given Silva’s age. It’s a shame given that Silva and Jones are two of the most unique fighters in the sport, yet in some respects, they are more similar to each other than anyone else in MMA. I’ll concede it’s too soon for it to be seriously considered, but I’d still love to see it and I’m sure I’m not alone.