On the heels of back-to-back losses, the second being a controversial decision in his rematch with Mauricio Rua, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira will face Patrick Cummins at UFC 198 on May 14 in Curitiba, Brazil. Well aware that another defeat could lead to his release by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, “Minotoro” vowed to stick to what he does best.
“I’m so motivated by being on such a great card that my goal is not to concern myself with the possibility of a loss,” Nogueira told Sherdog.com. “I won’t fight worrying about being taken down or just waiting to defend takedown attempts from my opponent. I’m going to play my game and use my boxing to capitalize on the opportunities he gives me.”
Nogueira was surprised to learn that Cummins had graced Team Nogueira with his presence in 2010, when the two-time NCAA All-American wrestler visited the camp with Jason Miller and trainer Ryan Parsons.
“Really? I was actually away from Rio at the time, but I recall them telling me that Miller and a tough wrestler trained with them. I just didn’t know it was Cummins. It has been six years since then,” Nogueira said. “He’s such a great athlete -- very fast and strong, and he uses his Greco and freestyle takedowns well. I’m training a lot with Kethag Pliev and [Richardson] ‘Rick Monstro’ [Moreira] to neutralize his strengths, and I’m also training with Anderson [Silva] and the X-Gym guys to sharpen my hands and apply a knockout win.”
Silva, who faces Uriah Hall at UFC 198, has looked focused and motivated, according to Nogueira.
“Anderson is in great shape and really motivated to fight in Curitiba, where his career started,” he said. “Hall is coming in off a win. He’s motivated and dangerous, with great knockout power, but I think his style fits well with Anderson’s. It will be a tough fight, but I expect a great win from ‘The Spider.’”