Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)Antonio Rodrigo ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira Announced As First Inductee of UFC Hall of Fame Class of 2016 José Youngs May 14, 2016 News, Spotlight, UFC UFC today announced that Brazilian icon Antonio Rodrigo ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira has been named the first inductee for the UFC Hall of Fame class of 2016. The news broke during the broadcast of UFC 198, with Nogueira sitting cageside The event will take place on Sunday, July 10, at 12 p.m. PT at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The ceremony will close out the UFC Fan Expo during the final day of the 5th Annual UFC International Fight Week. The event will also be streamed live and available on-demand exclusively on UFC Fight Pass. “I’m really excited to announce Minotauro Nogueira as the first inductee of the 2016 UFC Hall of Fame class,” said UFC President Dana White in a press release. “Big Nog is a mixed martial arts legend and, as an icon of the sport, we couldn’t think of a more fitting platform to make this announcement then at the record-breaking stadium event in Brazil. Nogueira is a true pioneer and we look forward to celebrating his career with all the fight fans in July at the UFC Fan Expo.” Nogueira, who was named UFC Brazil Athlete Relations Ambassador for his continued work throughout the country in September of 2015, will enter the UFC Hall of Fame as part of it’s Pioneer win. The Pioneers era category includes athletes who turned pro before November 17, 2000 (when unified rules were adopted), is a minimum age of 35 or has been retired for one year or more. With his first professional fight in 1999, ‘Big Nog’ rose to prominence in Japan as a member of Pride FC where fans saw him crowned a two-time champion while capturing the promotion’s first-ever heavyweight title in 2001. Upon PRIDE being purchased by an affiliate of Zuffa, LLC in 2007, Nogueira continued his dominance of the heavyweight division by defeating former UFC champ Tim Sylvia at UFC 81 for the interim UFC heavyweight championship. Nogueira finished his career with an impressive 34-10-1 record, which includes wins over former champions Randy Couture & Josh Barnett, fellow Pride icon Mirko Cro Cop and current UFC champion Fabricio Werdum. Twenty-two of his career wins ended by way of submission.