Former UFC Champ Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Retires

By Staff  |  09/06/2015

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

MMA veteran Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira announced his retirement this past week, after a 16-year career.

Nogueira (34-10-1) made his debut in June 1999, and retires as a former PRIDE heavyweight champion and UFC interim champion.

The 39-year-old fought exclusively with the UFC since 2007, and now, the promotion announced that Nogueira will join the organization as an athlete relations ambassador in Brazil.

"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."

Nogueira is best known for a trilogy against fellow legend Fedor Emelianenko. The two heavyweights fought three times in PRIDE, between 2003 and 2004... during which Nogueira went 0-2, with one bout ruled a no-contest due to an accidental head-butt.

He made his UFC debut in July 2007, and won the interim title by submitting Tim Sylvia via guillotine choke at UFC 81. He later lost the title to Frank Mir in late 2008.