Nogueira is coming off a frightening KO at the hands of Roy Nelson in the main event of last week's Abu Dhabi card, his third KO/TKO loss since coming to the UFC in 2007. That wouldn't seem like a scary number, but Nogueira has taken a ton of punishment in his career, including some amazing wars in his PRIDE days. During that period he was lauded for his iron jaw.
In addition to the three stoppages to punches, Frank Mir broke Nogueira's shoulder, Nog has had surgery on both hips, a surgery to repair an ACL and there have been reports that he has significant vision loss in one eye dating back several years.
The UFC president would like to see Nogueira hang up the gloves after this most recent KO (via MMA Fighting)
"Out of respect for Nogueira, I didn't want to say anything until he said something publicly," White said. "Then he came out and said he wants to fight Frank Mir. I don't want to see Nogueira fight ever again. He should retire."
"He is a war horse," said White. "That guy has been in -- just the battles in PRIDE he's been in -- let alone the fights that he's fought in the UFC. He's one of the most respected fighters in the world by other fighters, let alone by fans. And I like him very much, too, so I wanted to give him the opportunity to say something first. And now I'm going to say, 'Big Nog, I love you, but I'd love you to never fight again.'"
The UFC could refuse to book Nogueira and cut him loose if they're actually uncomfortable with the situation from a safety perspective. Or they could try and match him up "safely" going forward.
Either way, White says, "I've been in this position a million times, so we'll figure it out."