Following the cancellation of the UFC 106 Lesnar vs. Carwin fight, it was thought the two would headline for UFC 108, but yesterday it was officially announced that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Cain Velasquez will be the two headliners. The UFC needed to announce this rather quickly, because tickets for the event go on sale this week.
The victor of this fight which takes place on January 2nd, will enter the Octagon against the winner of the bout featuring heavyweight champ Brock Lesner and Shane Carwin.
UFC president Dana White was quoted saying; “Nogueira vs. Velasquez is a great match-up between the present and the future of the heavyweight division, Nogueira showed in the (Randy) Couture fight that he still has plenty left to offer at the top level of the game, and Velasquez was devastating in his win over Ben Rothwell, so with both guys in top form, we’re definitely going to see a No. 1 contender emerge from this fight to take on the winner of the Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin title fight.”
Nogueira has only had one previous loss in his career against Frank Mir in December 2008. However, Nogueira’s fighting was not up to par at the time due to a staph infection and a knee injury. He in fact was in the hospital for five days just a few weeks prior to the fight. Nogueira came back strong though, and defeated Randy Couture in August.
Velasquez’s most recent fight was against Ben Rothwell at UFC 104 in October, by TKO. Cain was quoted saying this about the upcoming fight; “I am excited to fight a legend like Nogueira. He’s one of the fighters I watched growing up and admired – he’s definitely one of the greats, and a win over him is what I need to set me up for my shot at the title. I have a lot respect for Noguiera and look forward to facing him in the Octagon.”