With a card brimming with first-rate match-ups, UFC 156 features more than just one major clash of styles. On Feb. 2 in Las Vegas, Rogerio Nogueira, a star from the days of Pride FC, takes on Rashad Evans, a former champion of the promotion’s light-heavyweight division. Not unfamiliar with his opponent’s solid takedown game, “Minotouro” brought in reinforcements to make sure he keeps his back off the canvas during the fight.
Kethag Pilev and Nick Johson joined forces with Nogueira at his Rio de Janeiro training camp to unravel the techniques Evans brings to the table.
Pilev placed in the top five at the 2012 London Olympics, and Johson has coached some big names in the UFC, such as welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. In an interview with O Globo, Minotouro explains that the work they are doing together is meant to keep Rashad from undermining his endurance.
“Rashad is going to stand and trade but may want to take it to the ground, too, to tire me out,” Nogueira said. “I have to be careful not to get taken down, and to try and impose my game,”
However, as he told GRACIEMAG.com in a recent interview, Minotouro isn’t afraid of a ground war.
“I may get taken down, the Brazilian said, “but if I fall I’ll get up or try to sweep using my Jiu-Jitsu.”
The Minotouro-Evans bout is the co-main event for this Saturday’s show. The marquee fight has Jose Aldo putting his featherweight belt up for grabs against Frankie Edgar.
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Nevada
Feb. 2, 2013
- Jose Aldo vs Frankie Edgar
- Rashad Evans vs Rogerio Nogueira
- Alistair Overeem vs Antonio Silva
- Jon Fitch vs Demian Maia
- Joseph Benavidez vs Ian McCall
- Gleison Tibau vs Evan Dunham
- Tyron Woodley vs Jay Hieron
- Jacob Volkmann vs Bobby Green
- Yves Edwards vs Isaac Vallie-Flagg
- Chico Camus vs Dustin Kimura
- Edwin Figueroa vs Francisco Rivera
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