One of the greatest heavyweights in MMA history has officially hung up his gloves.
MMA Fighting has reported that Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogeuira announced his retirement at a press conference in his hometown of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Noted as one of the greatest jiu-jitsu artists in MMA, the 39 year old Ricardo de la Riva black belt Nogueira has fought professionally since 1999. Probably best known for his run in PRIDE FC in Japan, where he won the promotion’s inaugural heavyweight title, “Minotauro” also won a RINGS “King of Kings” tournament in Japan and an interim heavyweight title with the UFC.
It was his victories over Mark Coleman and Heath Herrig — both via submission — which rocketed him to top of the world’s MMA stage, earning PRIDE’s inaugural heavyweight title back in 2001.
He retires with a 34-10-1 record in MMA competition. Many of those victories came over past and present champions of the sport — names like Randy Couture, Fabricio Werdum, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Ricco Rodriguez, and Semmy Schilt.
Nogueira most recently fought Stefan Struve at UFC 190, losing a unanimous decision. He also served as coach for the fourth season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil.
It is said that Noguiera will move to a promotional role with the UFC — as Shaun Al-Shatti puts it in his report: “aiding social projects and helping to discover new talent for the organization.”