UFC heavyweight Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira spoke to media today on a conference call to discuss the next season of the The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. Although Werdum is very excited to be a part of the show, and to fight Big Nog in Brazil, it was a call he never expected to receive. With two wins in the octagon in his second stint with the UFC, a win over Nogueira could put him closer to a rematch and erase the 2006 loss he suffered to him in Pride.
Werdum told the media, “It was a surprise for me. When I was in Brazil people were mentioning I might be the coach on The Ultimate Fighter. I didn’t think I was as known in Brazil as Nogueira and Shogun Rua and Lyoto Machida, so I really didn’t believe that it was going to happen.”
Werdum also spoke on fighting Big Nog for the second time. He noted “It’s obviously a great honor for me to fight Nogueira and to have a chance to fight him again after seven years. I think that I’ve evolved a lot of my game. Back then I was pretty much just a jiu-jitsu fighter. It’s changed a lot. Within the past few fights in the UFC I’ve been able to show that I have knockout power. I am able to put on ‘Fight of the Night.’”
Werdum concluded by saying that Nog was someone he looked up to. He finished, “I’ve definitely always looked up to Nogueira to this day. His ability to overcome things and all the adversity from his injuries and everything else, to be able to come back into the game. Way back, I would tell my friends that I wanted to reach that level.”