Rodrigo Nogueira: Fedor Should Retire
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Fedor Emelianenko share one of thing in common that they can say the rest of the world doesn’t have — a reign as PRIDE heavyweight champion.
Nogueira, the UFC Hall of Famer, left the sport about a year ago after UFC 190. Emelianenko, however, came back to MMA, and at last weekend’s Bellator 165 event, he made a surprise appearance with the announcement he will be facing Matt Mitrione on Feb. 18 at Bellator 172.
Nogueira’s twin brother, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, was competing on a UFC Fight Night card around the same time last weekend, getting dominated by Ryan Bader. Some have speculated it might be time for Rogerio Nogueira to go as well; however, Rodrigo Nogueira feels Emelianeko has spent too much time stalling to get to one of the mainstream MMA organizations.
"He waited too much to get to the UFC," Nogueira told Submission Radio. "If he had been in UFC five years ago, maybe seven years ago, he would have been in his prime. But now it’s not his time to go. If I’m in his place, it’s time to retire."
Regardless, Emelianenko will fight on.
"Fedor is prepared for this fight, he’s fighting more, he’s been in shape, but a fight’s a fight, so you never know," Nogueira said. "You have Fedor and Maldanado, and Maldonado surprised him. So you never know. A fight’s a fight, but Fedor’s got everything to win this fight."