Lil’ Nog, who has been a professional MMA fighter for almost nineteen years, says his career will come to an end at UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Till.
“I think the time has arrived,” Nogueira said to MMA Fighting. “It’s a lot of work, several projects, the head doesn’t stop. I’ll do my things, but I’m sure I’ll adapt to not fighting anymore. It’s going to be hard [laughs], maybe I’ll have to do more yoga and meditation to get me focused on doing other things instead of thinking about fights. And I’ll be a coach, I have my team, I’ll be able to train them, so it’s okay. Maybe finding new champions will satisfy this desire or winning.”
Rua and Nogueira had competed twice before, with Rua winning both of the previous battles at PRIDE FC Critical Countdown 2005 and UFC 190.
Nogueira admits that walking away from his life as a professional MMA fighter is going to be hard to do.
“You go to the gym and watch athletes training, it will get to a point where you will train but won’t have the competition,” Nogueira said. “You’re always moved my goals, competitions, but it’s time to think about the post-career, take care of other projects, think about other things. You can’t focus 100 percent in everything. We have the Team Nogueira project, my seminars and lectures. We were splitting the energy and focus, and now I’ll be able to close (my career) with a great fight. It’s gonna be hard, but I’m okay with it and I’m doing it the best way possible, fighting a great champion, someone I respect, someone that gave me a rivalry that forced me to train even harder. I train more when I’m fighting ‘Shogun.’ I’m excited, I know it’s going to be a great fight.”
UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Till takes place on Saturday, July 25 from Fight Island in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi with Robert Whittaker and Darren Till headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, while broadcast plans have yet to be announced.