Nogueira on Sonnen: He’s Not a ‘Real Challenger’ to Anderson

By Gleidson Venga Jul 7, 2010
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (right) file photo: Dave Mandel/

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira doesn’t care for Chael Sonnen.

Sonnen challenges Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight title Aug. 7 at UFC 117 in Oakland, Calif. Silva is a training partner of Nogueira and his brother, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and that fact seems to have brought the twins into Sonnen’s unique ability for hyping fights.

“He’s got a black belt under the Nogueiras,” Sonnen said of Silva during a June UFC Fight Club Q&A. “I think a black belt under the Nogueiras is saying, like, ‘I got a free toy in my Happy Meal.’ I don’t really understand what the big deal is. One of ’em’s a punching bag, and the other one I just ignore; he’s really irrelevant.”

Of course, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is a former UFC and Pride heavyweight champion, and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is the No. 6-ranked light heavyweight in the world.

“I think he's just talking nonsense,” Rogerio said in an interview conducted in June. “He is not even a real challenger to Anderson. I think other fighters have done much more in the division, such as Dan Henderson, Nate Marquardt, whom he won against, Demian Maia, who played with him like a child, and Vitor Belfort. He is enjoying his 15 minutes of fame. He will take a beating from Anderson, who will beat him like a child, will beat his ass and will shut his mouth.”

Rogerio believes that Sonnen is just trying to get inside Silva’s head.

“He knows Anderson will beat him and he is enjoying his 15 minutes of fame, knowing that it will end,” Rogerio said. “He has no qualifications to compete for the belt -- that's the truth. He doesn’t have good boxing or ground, only good wrestling.”

If Sonnen is trying to throw Silva off his game, Rogerio doesn’t believe it will work.

“Anderson is on another level,” Rogerio said. “He is not worried. He knows that the guy is doing it for attention. He hopes that Anderson will lose his control and blow up. It’s the only chance he has since Anderson is technically much better than him.”
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