August 27, 2011
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira showed that he still has plenty of fight left in him, as he scored a first-round TKO over Brendan Schaub at UFC 134 on Saturday night. Noguiera's win came after an 18-month layoff following a loss to current UFC champion Cain Velasquez.
As the bout started, Schaub immediately relied on the clinch, but Nogueira was able to push him off and return to stand-up. Schaub landed uppercuts early, slowing Nogueira after each punch landed. But Nogueira stayed aggressive and wobbled Schaub with a two-punch combination, then followed up with strikes until Schaub fell to the ground. Referee Herb Dean stepped in and stopped the fight at 3:09.
Nogueira had faced a rash of injuries, and even admitted that he hurried his rehab from a knee injury so that he could fight in front of his home crowd, the first time in the former PRIDE and UFC champion's illustrious career that he fought professionally in his home country. The crowd was clearly appreciative of his efforts. The fans erupted in cheers as he walked out, and yelled with every punch he threw. The HSBC Arena, located just miles from Nogueira's gym, went bonkers when he won, as drinks were thrown about and noise seemed to hit a new level for the UFC.
Since losing "The Ultimate Fighter" finale to Roy Nelson, Schaub had four wins in a row. However, Nogueira showed that Schaub still has plenty to learn before he leaps to the next level of UFC heavyweights.
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