Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has often been overshadowed by his older brother, former Pride heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. No one can deny that this set of twins have made a significant mark on the sport of MMA. Both have consistently been in or around the top 10 in their respective weight classes. Rogerio is known for great jiu-jitsu skills but is also a fundamentally sound boxer. In fact, Rogerio won the bronze medal in boxing at the 2008 Pan American Games. This 33-year-old is looking to make a quick splash in the UFC's 205 pound division and this could prove to be just the opportunity that he needs. Nogueira has a professional record of 17-3 with four wins coming by way of knockout and six wins coming by way of submission. The combined career winning percentage of the opponents that he has faced thus far is 68.4%.
If there is such a thing as a "bad boy" of Brazilian MMA, it would have to be Luis Cane. This talented 28-year-old fighter is one of the top young fighters in the UFC's talent-rich light heavyweight division. Cane combines sharp, effective striking with a nasty attitude (I mean that in a good way). In fact, his one loss came via DQ in a fight against James Irvin where Cane illegally kneed Irvin in the head while Irvin was on the ground. This only served to add to the mystique of Cane as a dangerous, feared light heavyweight. Many observers have wanted to see Cane matched up with a talented veteran. On Saturday night they'll get their wish. Cane has a professional record of 10-1 with eight wins coming by way of knockout and one win coming by way of submission. The combined career winning percentage of the opponents that he has faced thus far is 62.1%.
This is the fight that I'm most looking forward to at UFC 106. Will the hungry young Cane buzzsaw through the savvy veteran? Will Nogueira make a successful UFC debut and immediately put his name in the mix in the light heavy division? If you can look at a matchup on paper and honestly see it ending in a number of ways for either fighter, then the matchmaker has done a great job creating a competitive bout. Now it's up to the fighters to go out and execute on Saturday night. I see Cane coming out and landing some nice leg kicks early. I still have questions about Cane's grappling but I'm guessing that he will effectively defend against Nogueira's attempted offense in the ground game. My prediction: Luis Cane by TKO in the 3rd.