Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is prepared to step into the octagon against his biggest opponent to date in Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve. While the former PRIDE Heavyweight Champion has fought in several fights against tall opponents, nobody matches up to the seven foot tall monster that is Struve.
Despite the height difference, “Big Nog” not only predicts he will take home the victory, but he is also confident he will earn fight of the night honors when all is said and done.
“I’m telling you my fight will be ‘Fight of the Night’”, Nogueira told Combate. “I think Rogerio’s fight with Shogun will be interesting too. Bethe’s fight with Ronda is also a good one. People will shout a lot. I just can’t play around with the distance, I have to be aware of his kicks. I have to shorten the distance, be careful with his uppercut and his triangle choke. It will be a great, close fight. Struve has great jiu-jitsu and I must avoid that. But when I’m in his guard, I can’t be defensive, I have to go for kimuras, americanas and all of that.”
Whoever walks out of the octagon with their hands raised on Saturday at UFC 190 would be picking up their first victory since 2012. Nogueira’s last win came at the expense of Dave Herman at UFC 153 while Struve last picked up a win against Stipe Miocic on FUEL TV.
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Translated by Bloody Elbow’s Lucas Rezende