Antonio Rogerio Nogueira’s MMA profession will come to an finish on July 25, only a month away from the 19th anniversary of his in-ring debut. “Minotouro” confirmed to MMA Preventing that the trilogy bout with Mauricio Rua, scheduled for the fourth “Struggle Island” present in Abu Dhabi, would be the final time he enters the octagon to compete.

And making that call wasn’t actually that tough.

“I feel the time has arrived,” Nogueira mentioned. “It’s numerous work, a number of tasks, the pinnacle doesn’t cease. I’ll do my issues, however I’m certain I’ll adapt to not preventing anymore. It’s going to be onerous [laughs], possibly I’ll must do extra yoga and meditation to get me centered on doing different issues as an alternative of occupied with fights. And I’ll be a coach, I’ve my group, I’ll have the ability to practice them, so it’s okay. Perhaps discovering new champions will fulfill this need or successful.”

Minotouro admits that having different tasks, equivalent to the numerous franchises of Staff Nogueira throughout Brazil, affected his efficiency in the previous couple of years, “however I gained’t put the blame on it since I selected to have each.” In the long run, taking good care of these tasks allowed Nogueira to have a extra snug post-fight profession.

A month away from his remaining stroll to a cage after virtually 20 years as an expert fighter, Minotouro is aware of he should put together himself for a brand new routine in his life.

“You go to the fitness center and watch athletes coaching, it should get to some extent the place you’ll practice however gained’t have the competitors,” Nogueira mentioned. “You’re at all times moved my targets, competitions, but it surely’s time to consider the post-career, deal with different tasks, take into consideration different issues. You may’t focus 100 p.c in every little thing. We’ve the Staff Nogueira undertaking, my seminars and lectures. We had been splitting the vitality and focus, and now I’ll have the ability to shut (my profession) with an amazing combat.

“It’s gonna be onerous, however I’m okay with it and I’m doing it one of the best ways potential, preventing an amazing champion, somebody I respect, somebody that gave me a rivalry that pressured me to coach even more durable. I practice extra once I’m preventing ‘Shogun.’ I’m excited, I do know it’s going to be an amazing combat.”

A twin brother of MMA icon Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Minotouro has produced some legendary moments of his personal. The 4 better of “Little Nog’s” athletic profession, in accordance with the fighter himself, had been preventing Kazushi Sakuraba two years into his profession in entrance of virtually 40,000 followers at Tokyo Dome, clinching a medal on the 2007 Pan-American Video games as a boxer, dealing with legends on the 2005 PRIDE middleweight grand prix, and his UFC debut in 2009.

Minotouro has overwhelmed the likes of Alistair Overeem (twice), Dan Henderson, Tito Ortiz, Rashad Evans and Sakuraba in 32 skilled bouts, however admits he will get a bizarre feeling leaving the game with out holding a serious title.

“Getting so shut, being one of many 5 greatest within the UFC, and at all times being one of many three greatest in PRIDE,” he mentioned, “however I feel I’ve completed nice issues. Nice fights. It was an amazing profession. It’s been an amazing profession.”

For some folks, Minotouro will at all times be reminded as simply the dual brother of “Minotauro,” which his resume proves to be an understatement. Certain, his heavy brother has achieved extra within the sport by successful each UFC and PRIDE heavyweight belts, however appears unfair to discredit Little Nog’s significance simply because somebody that appears precisely like him was “higher.”

“I used to be fortunate for having Minotauro as a brother,” Nogueira mentioned. “When you’ve somebody of that caliber by your facet, you solely get higher. If I didn’t have Minotauro as my brother I wouldn’t have gotten higher. Being in contrast by others and evaluate your self in coaching, that’s inevitable. After I watched him I believed, ‘I’ve to get higher to provide him a greater coaching, to get higher for myself.’ That made me practice extra, made me evolve as an athlete.

“Since I couldn’t grapple like him I made a decision to get higher on the toes coaching boxing, creating one thing else. That helped me. I’m grateful for having Minotauro as a brother. As a substitute of being pissed off with comparisons, no, I would like the comparability. Minotauro has his shine, his profession, and he’s one of many all-time legends on this sport. He’s what helped me obtain every little thing I’ve obtain in preventing, my evolution.”

The ultimate chapter of Nogueira’s profession goes down at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, and he feels that avenging two controversial resolution losses to Shogun is the right solution to shut this guide.

“Shogun and I at all times placed on nice fights,” Nogueira mentioned. “It was the ‘Struggle of the Night time’ in 2015, probably the greatest fights in PRIDE historical past in 2005. Him and I, it’s at all times nice fights.”

“I’ve been coaching various things for this combat,” he added. “I’ll take dangers. I’ll change the technique. I’ll be extra aggressive, go for the knockout. I’ll attempt to shock him extra. I can’t discuss my technique right here, however I’ll attempt to end this combat, for certain. A knockout or a submission.”