UFC 140 Fight Card Primer: Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 09: (L-R) Light Heavyweight opponents Tito Ortiz and Antonio Rogerio "Minotoro" Nogueira face off after weighing in during the UFC 140 Official Weigh-in at the Air Canada Centre on December 9, 2011 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

At UFC 140: Jones vs. Machida, former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz (16-9-1; 15-9-1 UFC) meets Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (19-5; 2-2 UFC). This fight in the Light Heavyweight division is the third bout of the evening. In the USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings, Nogueira is ranked the #12 Light Heavyweight, with Ortiz at #16. The PPV card begins Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

Right now, we are in an interesting transitional time in MMA. Many of the stars of the earlier days are coming to the ends of their careers, with the new guard stepping in. Sometimes this leads to "new" vs. "old" match-ups, and sometimes it leads to a sort of "legends" fight. This one is definitely in that legends category. Lil Nog and The Huntington Beach Bad Boy have both been at or close to the top of the Light Heavyweight ranks at some point in their careers - Nogueira in Pride, Ortiz in the UFC. And they're both winding down those careers. The result is a sort of dream match that is, admittedly, not super relevant to the current UFC Light Heavyweight division, but is still a great contest between two men who should meet before their careers are done.

How do these two stack up?

Nogueira: 35 years old | 6'2" | 75" reach
Ortiz: 36 years old | 6'2" | 74" reach

What have these two done recently?

Nogueira: L - Phil Davis (UD) | L - Ryan Bader (UD) | W - Jason Brilz (SD)
Ortiz: L - Rashad Evans (TKO) | W - Ryan Bader (SUB) | L - Matt Hamill (UD)

How did these two get here?

Rogerio Nogueira is the twin brother of Minotauro, and can unfairly get lost in his brother's shadow. Unlike Minotauro, Rogerio has focused his MMA career on his boxing, with his jiu jitsu being the secondary weapon. That boxing led him to great success in Pride, including an all-time classic 2005 fight with Shogun. After the close of Pride, he floated around a bit, then came to the UFC in 2009, winning his first two Octagon fights before being derailed by Ryan Bader. He had some success in his fight with Phil Davis (in a fight where Davis stepped in for an injured Ortiz), but Davis's wrestling proved to be too much, and Nogueira is now on a two fight losing streak.

Tito Ortiz has had a wild 2011. After a four year winless streak from October 2006 to October 2010, it looked like the former UFC Light Heavyweight champion was done. Then he did the unthinkable. He won. Against heavy favorite Ryan Bader no less. That emotional win propelled him to a main event against Rashad Evans, which Tito lost, but the good feelings from that Bader win remain. In the lead-up to this fight, Tito has talked about having only one more fight after this one on his UFC contract, and has stated that he may retire when that contract ends. After 14 years in the sport and countless back injuries, it's hard to fault him for making that choice.

Why should you care?

There's just something about Tito Ortiz. Even at his career low, the man knows how to light a fire under the crowd and get you invested in his fights. I always find myself entertained by Tito fights, and I think against an opponent who is in a similar place as him, we'll end up with more of an even fight. And I admit it, I'll miss Tito when he's gone, so if this is close to the end, I will savor the moment.

More UFC 140 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.


Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.