UFC 81 is a few hours away, and while everyone is focusing on Lesnar, the increased interest may provide a chance for Nogueira to become a real star.
The countdown showed that the UFC is heading in the right direction on how to promote him, but they're still uncomfortable really using the Pride footage. The best way to market Nogueira is as a guy who takes ungodly amounts of punishment, but still comes back to win. I think we may see that tonight, and if he's able to pull of a late comeback win with a submission over the universally hated Tim Sylvia, I think he will become an instant star. After all, not even Randy Couture was able to finish Tim.
The real question is, why is The UFC so averse to putting a fight like Nogueira v. Sapp on Unleashed? Surely Spike wouldn't make a big deal out of that. Nogueira speaks (ok) English, and has a style and story with universal appeal. They really shouldn't just give up on him.