Heart is the strongest of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s many gifts. | Photo: D. Herbertson/Sherdog.com
Nogueira was a tremendously skilled performer with some of the best heavyweight jiu-jitsu ever and underrated boxing, but he is best known for the heart he displayed in fights. On the short list of the greatest MMA comebacks of all-time are two separate Nogueira bouts: his remarkable armbar victories over Mirko Filipovic and Bob Sapp, the latter occurring when Sapp most epitomized his billing as “The Beast.” Those performances have made Nogueira a universally respected and beloved icon of the sport. Fedor Emelianenko’s style was perfectly designed to counter Nogueira’s strengths, and if it were not for the Russian juggernaut, “Minotauro” might be considered the greatest heavyweight in history to this day.
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