Coach of the upcoming The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2 and legendary PRIDE and UFC veteran Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (34-7-1) has told MMAJunkie Radio that he doesn’t expect his opposition coach Fabricio Werdum (16-5-1) to be the same fighter he fought six years ago in PRIDE.
Nogueira won their first fight in July of 2006 at PRIDE: Critical Countdown Absolute by unanimous decision, after dominating the youthful Brazilian with his boxing, something he doesn’t expect to happen this time around.
“Each fight is different. I know it’s not going to be the same fight. I don’t think it’s going to come to boxing like the last fight.”
“It was a while ago,” said Nogueira of their previous meeting. “I know he changed a lot. He improved his stand-up. So did I. I think I have improved my wrestling, and my boxing is way better – my striking, too. I think I can hit harder than last time I fought him. It’s going to be a great fight.”
Both Werdum and Nogueira have had mixed records since their 2006 fight, with Big Nog going 6-4 and Werdum a slightly better 8-3, with Werdum’s biggest loss coming via KO to Nogueira’s protegé Junior Dos Santos.
In recent outings however, both men have shown much improvement in their boxing and stand-up, with Nogueira knocking Brendan Schaub out and dropping both Frank Mir and Ed Herman, while Fabricio Werdum demolished a hapless Roy Nelson with some vicious Muay Thai knees in their fight back in February.
Regarding the show itself, Nogueira says he wants more than anything to win the show as a coach, and to make a future champion just like in his Team Nogueira gym.
“I want to win as a coach. I want to make a champ. That’s the game, and that’s my dream. That’s what we do at Team Nogueira. It’s going to be the same over there. We’re going to work hard to win. It’s theses guys’ dream to be under a UFC contract. I want to make them good fighters. I think we’re going to do that.”
The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2 debuts in Brazil in early 2013, with its finale being headlined in early Summer with Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira (34-7-1) vs. Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum (16-5-1).