One of the things Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira repeatedly does in the Octagon is show his heart. “Big Nog” stepped in to fight at UFC 153 on a month’s notice while also coming off of major arm surgery and was able to drop Dave Herman with a left hook before forcing him to tap late in the second round. Shortly thereafter, Nogueira jumped on the top of the Octagon and celebrated with his countrymen and walked to the back relatively unscathed.
Though he may not have been handed an injury suspension from the commission on-site in Brazil, it turns out Nogueira didn’t actually walk into the fight healthy.
In an interview with SporTV, Nogueira revealed he had broken a rib three weeks out from the rumble but also stated there was no way he was going to let his fans down.
“I fractured my rib three weeks ago on my right side. I went to the doctor, I took a local anesthetic to be able to train and when he gave me a shot there, it gave me a shortness of breath and I took a swing from one side to the other to see what had happened, it had broken. There was a big break,” explained Nogueira.
The former champion, and (unless he burns down a school) future UFC Hall of Famer, withstood fourteen total strikes and two takedowns from Herman in their fight. Though you can’t teach toughness on a mat in a jiujitsu academy or learn it from hitting mitts in a ring, “Minotauro” seems to have mastered the art after coming off of one of the most vicious arm breaks in the Octagon, taking a tilt on short notice with broken ribs, and then submitting the guy who was telling the media and fans jiujitsu wasn’t applicable in the ring.
In one word – legendary.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC