MMA Crossfire – Minotauro retires, becomes UFC Brazil athlete relations ambassador

Mixed martial arts heavyweight and UFC Hall-of-Fame shoo-in Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (34-10-1) officially retired from active competition today.

Revered and respected for his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and boxing skills, and philanthropy in the community, the 39-year-old can now look back on a sparkling career.

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His last fight was a unanimous decision loss against Stefan Struve at UFC 190.

As a UFC Brazil ambassador, Nogueira will liaison with sponsors, fighters, media and various sporting bodies. He will also look to develop the talent of one of the most important regions for the company.

Minotauro Nogueira

Heavyweight contender Antonio Rodrigo ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira of Brazil holds an open training session at Pepe Beach on July 29, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“‘Big Nog’ is a legend in the sport of MMA,” UFC President Dana White said to UFC.com. “He is respected by fighters and fans worldwide. It has been an honor to watch him compete and I’m happy to see him retire. He will be a huge asset to the UFC, the athletes and the sport as an ambassador. I look forward to working with him in this new chapter of his life.”

Nogueira brothers

The Nogueira brothers. Kenai Andrews/MMA Crossfire

“It’s a great pleasure and an honor for me to further my ties with the UFC,” Nogueira said. “I’ve always had a passion to follow the development of new athletes and that’s what I intend to continue doing. I want to help further the spread of MMA around the world and give my contribution to the emergence and development of young talent. I appreciate all the confidence that Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta and Frank Fertitta have in me, and I believe we will reach big results together. I know that I can, and will, contribute much to the growth of our sport outside of the octagon.”

Nogueira made an impact in PRIDE, becoming a two-time heavyweight champion.  He moved to the UFC in 2007 and became the interim heavyweight champ with a win over Tim Sylvia.

He had memorable battles with Fedor Emelienko, Brendan Schaub, and Frank Mir in Toronto.

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@kenaiandrews

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Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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