Welcome back to the rankings, "Minotauro."
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira might be one of Brazil's fighting idols. He might be one of the greatest fighters in MMA history. But, he had never fought inside his home country, and he has never been known for his knockout power.
Who says old dogs don't learn new tricks?
In an emotionally-charged atmosphere at UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro, coming off of double hip surgery and knee surgery, the battle-tested "Minotauro" strode into the Octagon and temporarily reversed time, as the 35-year-old cracked fast-rising prospect Brendan Schaub in the first-round, producing one of the year's most sensational and dramatic upsets and episodes.
When his contemporaries like Fedor Emelianenko and Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic are but distant memories of these rankings, Nogueira is finding ways to stick around.
Nogueira's fellow Brazilian stalwarts affirmed their places in Rio as well. Anderson Silva demolished Yushin Okami and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua blitzed Forrest Griffin, giving both Brazilians their revenge for the losses of years past, and another feather for their respective caps.
Now, as August dies and September begins, MMA turns its eyes to the final third of 2011, a slice of the calendar rich with the matchups that give this list its movers and shakers.
Continue Reading » MMA Heavyweight Rankings