MMA legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (pictured) has decided to call it a career. The 39-year-old Brazilian announced his retirement Tuesday from competitive fighting, but will work as an ambassador for the UFC.
“It is a great pleasure and an honor to continue my ties with the UFC,” Nogueira stated. “I always had the passion to follow the development of young athletes and I want to keep doing that. I want to help spread MMA around the world and give my contribution to the emergence and development of young talent. I appreciate the confidence that (UFC President) Dana White and (owners) Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta are banking on me, and I believe that with hard work we will achieve great results together. I know I can, and will, contribute to the growth of our sport outside the octagon.”
Following August’s decision defeat to Stefan Struve, marking Nogueira’s third straight loss and six of his past nine, UFC president Dana White said he was hoping “Big Nog” would hang up his gloves and accept a job with the UFC.
“‘Minotauro’ is a legend in MMA,” White stated. “He is respected by fighters and fans all over the world. It has been an honor to watch him compete and I am happy for his retirement. He will be a tremendous asset to the UFC, athletes and the sport as an ambassador. I can’t wait to work with him in this new chapter of his life.”
Nogueira leaves the game with a 34-10-1 (1 NC) record. He captured the interim UFC heavyweight title by submitting Tim Sylvia in 2008, but lost the manufactured belt in his next outing to Frank Mir.