Antonio Rogerio Noguiera aka "Little Nog" won one of the biggest fights of his MMA career last night over Tito Ortiz at UFC 140. He survived an early and fearsome blitz from the former UFC light heavyweight champ and future Hall of Famer to come back and earn a brutal TKO victory. It was a dramatic, action-packed fight featuring two MMA legends and yet almost no one's talking about it today.
That's because most everyone is talking about the even more amazing fight between Frank Mir and Nogueira's brother Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira aka "Big Nog", the one that ended with Nogueira's arm needing x-rays. It's the down side of being the twin brother of one of MMA's all-time legends. No matter how good his performance, Little Nog will always be compared to Big Nog and sadly it seems he's destined to always come up just short.
That's too bad because Little Nog carried a two fight UFC losing streak into his bout with Tito. That's the kind of number that usually means one-more-loss-and-you're-getting-cut for a relatively highly paid performer like Nogueira. He emphatically passed that test with the TKO win over Ortiz.
Ortiz may not be what he used to be, but Nogueira did what rising star Ryan Bader couldn't do and survived the early Ortiz blitz to come back and get the win. Nogueira's boxing skill and incredible toughness paid off as he fended off the swarming Ortiz and came back to hurt him with a vicious knee to the body.
Then it was time for Tito to learn what Luiz Cane learned at Little Nog's UFC 106 debut: once he hurts you, Little Nog won't stop until the referee steps in to stop the beating. Pounding on the grounded Ortiz, Nogueira showed the opposite of mercy as he relentlessly pounded Ortiz to the body, following up on the knee shot that initially hurt Ortiz.
There's one rainbow for Rogerio to look forward to. While his twin brother is nursing a broken arm, Little Nog will instead be talking to UFC matchmaker Joe Silva and thinking about his next fight.