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With his second straight loss in the Octagon, where does Antonio Rogerio Nogueira go from here?
RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Nogueira's borderline top 10, coming off of a loss, and having not looked good against Davis, Bader, or Brilz. Let's give him a fight against someone at his level, who isn't a wrestler primarily, who has a major name. In other words, Rich Franklin, please.
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I think he just goes back to the gym and tries again. If he loses his next fight, you think about cutting him. For now, you give him another chance to show what he can do. Nogueira needs to step his game up or risk having the sport pass him by.
CHRIS PARK, MMATORCH UK SPECIALIST
It's tough to say where little Nog will go from after Saturday's loss. He could be cut. I don't think he will be, but it's definitely a possibilty.
I know this will now come up after every half recognizable name is cut, but I personally think that Nogueira is a fighter who would do well in Strikeforce.
There was talk of him facing Dan Henderson when speculation about the Brazilian's debut first began, and that is a bout he could work towards if he made the sideways move.
One thing is for sure though, Nogueira is a member of the elite club of living legends who the sport are leaving behind. Great at one or two aspects of the game, like Mirko Cro Cop, like Chuck Liddell, but unable to compete with the best of the new breed of Mixed Martial Artist.
ERIC HOBAUGH, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I hate to say this, because I love Nogueira, but his career in the UFC may be over. Let's face it, Ryan Bader and Phil Davis are good fighters but they are not the elite of the light- heavyweight division right now. I do not consider Bader at the top of the division, because of the way Jon Jones handled him in their fight. Davis and Bader are excellent wrestlers and that IS Nogueira's weakness. The old saying "styles make fights" is true, but if he cannot get past fighters the likes of Davis and Bader, he does not belong in the top of the division. One more loss and he will be out of the UFC. MMA is probably evolving faster than Nogueira's game is capable of evolving. Being the best BJJ fighter in the division is not enough. If I were on his team, I would train wrestling, wrestling, and more wrestling. He should get one more shot in the UFC. Next, a fight with Rich Franklin would sell pay per views and be a valid test for both fighters.
MIKE BACIOR, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
He keeps fighting. He is a very talented and experienced guy. However, I feel he needs to be more aggressive with his striking and fight closer to the way he did against Luiz Cane in his UFC debut.
ANWAR PEREZ, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira will still have a job in the UFC, and possibly also have a spot on a main card depending on his next opponent. Rogerio is facing the same thing that his brother Rodrigo Nogueira is, and that's the place where a fighter decides what's next for them. Though not as battle-tested or fatigued as his brother, Rogerio still has had a tough career, and maybe as such is the case as his brother, it is time to see where he fits in the grand-scheme of things.
ALEX WILLIAMS, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
It's Minotoro's second straight official loss, and, considering his hotly debated points win over Jason Brilz, his third straight actual loss in the eyes of many. One more defeat and it may be time for the UFC to release Minotoro or shift him to Strikeforce. In fact, moving him to Strikeforce right now wouldn't be a terrible idea, and would allow Zuffa to continue using Minotoro without totally portraying Strikeforce as a minor league.
JAMIE PENICK, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Nogueira has had a difficult run of opponents that are simply a bad match for him stylistically. He hasn't been blown out or badly beaten in any of his UFC appearances, but the wrestlers in the division have been able to do enough to get him in trouble and score points, and in the case of Ryan Bader and Phil Davis do enough to beat him. However, as soon as he's matched up against someone that isn't going to threaten the takedown throughout the entire fight he'll have a chance to shine again. The calls for a bout with Rich Franklin make a lot of sense for both fighters right now, and it would be a good matchup for the UFC to make.
MATT PELKEY, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
Not too far down the ladder. His last name keeps him relevant as long as his skills do, and he's basically become a high level gatekeeper in the light-heavyweight division. He's still well-rounded and tough, so I'd expect him to continue his recent role as a stern test for upcoming prospects. Perhaps Alexander Gustafsson is ready for the challenge?
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