Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

I only drop out of a fight when it’s totally impossible to fight, when I cannot even walk. Anyone who trains with me knows how I am. I never decline a fight invitation. In this fight against Mir, I had a serious staphylococcus infection on my elbow 10 days before the fight and stayed almost five days in the hospital taking antibiotics. On the day I finally recovered and returned to training, three days before the flight, I had a serious knee injury (meniscus). Definitely I was not in good condition, but I don’t want to take anything from Mir. He was in great shape and very well prepared and did the right tactics, didn’t go to the ground, worked his right hand over mine and surprised me. But I’m sure I have the ability to fight better than I did, and against Couture I will make a much better presentation…For sure. Facing a top guy like Randy is just like facing Fedor, Cro Cop. Definitely he is a legend of our sport, and we will make a great fight. I will fight in the same weight that I fought in Pride. I will lose about 10 pounds. Lighter, I can move faster, have more gas and can work my game better, have quicker jiu-jitsu.

—Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira talking to Sherdog about his loss to Frank Mir and his upcoming fight against Randy Couture at UFC 102.

Big Nog definitely looked slow and sluggish in the Mir fight. Hopefully, that had more to do with the staph infection and knee injury than all the beatings he’s taken throughout his career. I’m guessing a combination of both, but we’ll find out for sure on August 29 when he fights Couture.