By Chris Howie
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer
A shadow of doubt had been cast over former Pride Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira after losing two of three and looking less than impressive in the outtings. Couple those fights with surgeries and rehab outside of the cage and many believed it could be the end of the line of Big Nog.
At UFC 134 he was set to face Brendan Schaub in a bout that could have propelled the former NFLer into the upper echelon of UFC Heavyweights. Nogueira had other plans, knocking Schaub out and taking home a smooth 100K knockout of the night bonus in his home country of Brazil.
Post fight he talked about his return:
“I'm back, you know? When I feel like some guys ask me in the interviews before the fight I was the underdog, I told you I like to be the underdog. When people don't believe in me, my energy comes inside. So I'm back. … The fight was really tough. He threw me some good hands. At moments in the fight, I felt his uppercuts. But I believe in myself, I know I could change and I'm back. I'm feeling good and now I feel I can put my skills on. I've gotta improve a little bit more of my wrestling (but) I'm back.”
He also talked about people suggestions that he hang up the gloves:
“Of course (I never considered retirement). People, I made a tremendous effort to overcome