Nogueira the Latest Soccer Signing; Inks with Internacional

By Marcelo Alonso Aug 24, 2011
Following in the footsteps of UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (pictured) has signed an endorsement deal with a Brazilian soccer club for his appearance at UFC 134.

While Silva inked a contract with Corinthians, Nogueira was presented Wednesday as an official spokesmen for Sport Club Internacional. Nogueira will carry Internacional's patch on his shorts when he steps into the Octagon against fellow UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub on Saturday. After the event, the club and the athlete will discuss the possibility of extending the partnership if it is mutually beneficial.

In signing the former Pride and UFC champion, the Rio Grande do Sul-based club hopes to receive more visibility at Saturday's UFC 134, going down in Rio de Janeiro. This Wednesday night, Internacional will face Argentine club Independiente for the South-American Recopa title. Internacional's marketing department has prepared a special video to show on the stadium's big screen during the match.

Nogueira has already been photographed for Internacional's official website wearing the team's T-shirt and has challenged the team's cross-city rival, Gremio.

“Now I'm Internacional with all my heart. I want to see Gremio bring a heavyweight to knock me down,” said Nogueira, who has traditionally supported Brazilian club CR Vasco da Gama.

“I will do my best to represent the club the best way I can. This week, we'll fight for two titles: Recopa, with the soccer team, and UFC 'Rio,' with me.”

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