Mixed martial arts icons Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira has officially hung up his gloves.

On Tuesday, Nogueira, known by fans worldwide as “Minotauro,” officially announced his retirement from competition. However, this does not mean he is done with the sport as he will serve as an Athlete Relations Ambassador for UFC Brazil.

As part of his new contract, Nogueira will provide services for a number of initiatives in the Brazil region. Some of his new responsibilities will be the liaison for the organization between athletes, sponsors, media and government bodies, as well as act as a mentor in the development of young athletes. Additionally, Nogueira will serve as a scout in order to identify talent throughout Brazil.

“‘Big Nog’ is a legend in the sport of MMA,” stated UFC President Dana White. “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.”

“It’s a great pleasure and an honor for me to further my ties with the UFC,” added Nogueira. “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.”

Prior to his retirement, Nogueira put together one of the most impressive résumé’s in MMA history. With his first professional fight in 1999, Nogueira rose to prominence in Japan under the Pride FC banner, eventually becoming a two time champion in the organization, including the innagural heavyweight champion 2001.

After Pride FC was purchased by the UFC, Nogueira jumped right into title contention where he would earn the interim tile with submission over former champion Tim Sylvia.

He would go to compete 10 times under the UFC banner where he would picks up decision wins Randy Couture and Heath Herring as well as stoppages over Brendan Schaub and Dave Herman. He also served as head coach on The Ultimate Fighter on three separate occasion.

Nogueira finishes his career with a sterling impressive 34-10-1, which includes an astounding 22 submission victories.

About The Author

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José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.