UFC Fight Night: Abu Dhabi had plenty of excitement for the discerning fight fan, but it also had a pretty sad ending. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - the beloved Brazilian legend who's pretty much fought everywhere against everyone - got utterly smashed by Roy Nelson.
By itself, a simple knockout wouldn't be so bad. They can, and often do, happen to everyone eventually. But what makes this particular performance by "Big Nog" so disheartening is that it is clear and convincing evidence that it's probably in his best interest to never fight again.
Consider these facts:
- Nogueira has had 45 MMA bouts. That's a lot, especially considering that many of those bouts were against the absolute best in the world.
- In his last eight Octagon appearances, Big Nog has won only three times.
- Thus far in the UFC, we've seen Frank Mir knock him out and snap his arm, we've seen Cain Velasquez KO him, and we've seen Fabricio Werdum completely toy with him on the ground.
- Dude is 37, which is old in the post-TRT world.
Nogueira is a popular guy, and is so amiable that you can't help but like him and want to see him succeed. But there's an expiration date on every fighter's career, and clearly his date has passed.
Big Nog needs to retire.