Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort recently suggested an idea called the “League Of Legends,” which would see a league for older MMA veterans to compete in.
The now retired Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is a big fan of the idea as well.
“It makes sense,” Nogueira told MMA Junkie. “People who are over 40, they’re a little older, and 20-something-year-olds have better physical conditions. But the idea of messing with the rules, making (the fight) shorter – I think when you take away the time, when you take away some types of strikes, you take away from the fight’s characteristics. I think from the time you change that, you turn it into a different fight. It’s like Olympic boxing. It was three minutes, then four, then two. It was 10 five-minute rounds, then it was five three-minute ones. It’s a different fight. I think you shouldn’t change the rules, but it’s valid for fighters the same age to fight.”
Nogueira has been retired since suffering a decision loss to Stefan Struve in 2015. Even though he has a lot of side projects that keep him busy, the Brazilian MMA legend still misses fighting.
“I really miss fighting, the adrenaline,” Nogueira said. “Not just of the fight, but the camp. The hardships, the pain I felt on my leg, the bruised arm that wouldn’t stop me, that day-to-day of overcoming adversity. That’s what I miss the most.”
“Big Nog’s” brother, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is still competing, with his next fight coming against Ilir Latifi at UFC Fight Night 112.