Widely considered as one of the best heavyweight fighters today, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira tasted his first defeat in the Octagon last weekend. Frank Mir, a heavy underdog, claimed the UFC interim title with a TKO stoppage over the former Pride heavyweight champion.
"Yeah, really bad night tonight," commented Nogueira to MMAWeekly.com about his performance. "Frank Mir was in great shape. He surprised me with stand-up. He threw a very strong uppercut in the first round. He moved better than me.
"Everybody could see that I wasn't a good fighter tonight. I didn't fight well. I think I can fight much better than this."
Mir startled Nogueira with his improved striking and put his Brazilian counterpart on the mat in the first round.
"He surprised me how good he was standing up, for sure," explained Nogueira. "I thought he was going to try and bring the fight to the ground; I was going to fight standing up. It was a great fight for him though.
"I've had better performances than this. I need to get into better shape. I have a few injuries coming into this fight; I hurt my left knee very bad. I couldn't get there; the right shape. Every fight is a different story."
At the post-fight press conference, Nogueira was asked if he'd be interested in a possible fight with former champion Randy Couture.
"For sure I would accept this fight. He's a great fighter. He just lost his last match, but he's still a legend in this sport. I would love to fight him. We're both very experienced fighters and it would be a nice match."
Nogueira intends to return to his family in Brazil and take some time off before resuming his training.