The longtime rumors were true after all. Despite both camps expressing a great interest in a nostalgic rematch, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mirko Cro Cop will not meet at UFC 134. Instead, Big Nog will return to action against Brendan Schaub in Rio on August 27. The UFC confirmed the fight earlier today.
The UFC 134 fight card has added a high-profile heavyweight battle, Dana White confirmed today. The 8-1 Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub and former Pride and UFC champion Minotauro Nogueria have verbally agreed to the August 27 bout in Rio.
I’m not sure what the UFC is thinking with this one other than setting up Nogueira to be a potential stepping stone for Schaub. It really doesn’t make sense otherwise. Nogueira is coming off an 18 month layoff after getting knocked senseless by current heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez while Schaub is riding a four-fight win streak. Putting a weathered veteran like Nogueira against a young hard hitter like Schaub definitely isn’t doing him any favors, but who knows, maybe his hometown crowd will inspire Big Nog to pull one more rabbit out of his hat.
Image via Daniel Herbertson for Sherdog