The UFC has had so many legends in the arena, there have been many epic fighters, pros in wrestling, boxing, karate, BJJ and so on, all of whom have been so incredible to watch and have us beyond invested.
They have had us excitedly looking at the UFC lines and placing bets on our favorite athletes, some of these legends have left behind legacies that will not be forgotten for a long time to come.
Some of these athletes have changed the way we view the UFC and MMA, some have set records that will never be beaten, but some legends were not legendary for their stats, their win-loss rate, or any things that we traditionally relate to an MMA legend.
One of the legends we do not typically think of is Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, this is not because he was not a good fighter, but because he is simply just not one of the main MMA names in every household.
However, what “Lil Nog” does have, is one hell of a legacy, and today, we will discuss just how epic his legacy really is!
Who Is Antonio Rogerio Nogueira?
Antonio Rogerio “Lil Nog” Nogueira, also nicknamed Minotouro. He is a Brazilian MMA fighter who has fought in the UFC and PRIDE as well as others. He is the twin of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who is known as Minotauro, who gave Rogerio the name Minotauro.
He is a skilled boxer, and as an amateur he has been the heavyweight champion in 2006 and 2007 in Brazil. He is from Brazil and mostly trained in BJJ.
Some might find it strange that both twins have an identical first name, but this is actually not unusual, and they both share the name of their father. He and his brother can be told apart as he is a lighter in his weight, and he is also shorter in height, his brother also has a scar that can be seen on his lower back.
The ‘It’ Factor
So, what kind of legacy is Lil Nog leaving behind in his kissy e-wallet? Well, he doesn’t have any major accomplishment, or a title in a premiere organization, but he has left a mark on MMA and the UFC.
This legacy is not one of wins and losses, this is why he wouldn’t be a household name, as it is usually wins and losses that dictate being a legend. However, his accomplishments cannot be measured in this way.
Any MMA fan is sure to know of the Nogueira twins, both brothers had something we will call the ‘It’ factor. Both twins, brothers with the same name, were badasses who competed at the highest level from day one.
Lil Nog has quite the epic list of notable fighters he faced in PRIDE, the UFC and even Affliction. Facing off against Overeem, Sakuraba, Rua, Ortiz, and even Rashad Evans. He is known as being a man who fights top tier, against the top tier.
Ok, his record isn’t world beating, we admit, and yeah, there is more than enough imagery of him getting pummeled by Ryan Bader and Spann, however, his latter hiccups in the late part of his career are hardly enough to weigh down his hefty legacy.
You have to consider just how many of the heroic fighters of today probably grew up watching Lil Nog in the arena, inspired to follow in his footsteps, watching his match-ups and thinking ‘one day that could be me!’. There are plenty of current legends who grew up inspired by the Nogueira’s, and it is no wonder, you do not have to have the most epic win rate to be inspirational after all.
Lil Nog was always kind of in his brother’s shadow, as it often is with brothers, but our favorite Lil Nog sure made his own impact. Maybe he did not reach the heights he may have wanted, but he still made a name for himself.
He has some notable wins under his belt too, against toug h uns like Sakuraba, and twice over Overeem, even Ortiz. These are accomplishments enough to warrant a good boast.
Nogueira fought hard and fast, and he entertained spectators whether they were bettors or not. His rivalry with Shogun Rua was one of these, and that is why we have to mention how it all ended.
Nogueira was planning his retirement back in 2020, and he decided he wanted to have one last battle against Shogun Rua, two PRIDE veterans going head-to-head, and it made for quite the battle.
Nogueira has quite the win streak with PRIDE, however, he had never beaten Shogun, he didn’t do it in Japan, nor in the UFC. He asked to face Shogun for his retirement fight, why? He found they had a great fight, Shogun was aggressive, and he wanted that ‘good fight’ material to go out on.
The fight did not go in Nogueira’s favor sadly, but it was still a legendary fight, and it was exactly what Lil Nog wanted. He went out on a bang, and it will certainly be remembered for a very long time to come among all MMA and UFC fans around the world.