UFC News: Mir, Nogueira Named TUF 8 Coaches


New York, NY, May 12, 2008 — The coaches for season eight of Spike TV’s “The Ultimate Fighter,” the most successful original series in network history, will feature two of the UFC’s all-time top heavyweights. Interim UFC heavyweight champion, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir, will star in the new season featuring light heavyweights (205 lbs) and lightweights (155 lbs) premiering Wednesday, September 17 at 10:00pm ET/PT. Nogueira and Mir will square off in the Octagon“„¢ for a to-be-announced UFC pay per view event. UFC President Dana White will once again serve as the show’s host.

The Brazilian native Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (31-4-1), known as “Minotauro” (a Greek mythological creature), is one of the sport’s most successful heavyweights. Nogueira’s incredible career almost never happened as he was involved in a life-threatening accident at age ten when he was run over by a truck in his native Brazil. Fortunately, he survived and avoided permanent damage, thus his mixed martial arts pursuits were not deterred.

He began his professional career in MMA in the United States in June of 1999 with the World Extreme Fighting organization. However, Noguiera truly made a name for himself in the sport when he joined the RINGS organization in Japan and posted an 8-1-1 record from 1999-2000, losing only to Dan Henderson.

Nogueira’s leap to MMA stardom came when he joined PRIDE in Japan and, from 2001-2003, proceeded to defeat the biggest names in the division including Bob Sapp, Mark Coleman, Heath Herring, Enson Inoue, Sanae Kikuta, Semmy Schilt, and avenged his earlier loss to Henderson. A tough loss to Fedor Emelianenko in March 2003 stopped his impressive winning streak, but “Minotauro’s” career rebounded with a close decision win over former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez in August 2003.

The defining match in his career in PRIDE came in November 2003 with a memorable victory over Croatian Mirko Cro Cop via submission to gain the PRIDE heavyweight belt. ‘”Minotauro” would go 8-2 with one no contest in the final three years of his stay in Japan, including avenging a previous defeat to another former UFC heavyweight champ, Josh Barnett, with a decision win in December 2006.

Nogueira made his UFC debut in July 2007 at UFC 77 with a victory over a familiar nemesis, Herring, whom Nogueira had beaten three times previously in his career. This past February, “Minotauro’ defeated Tim Sylvia in a stirring comeback via submission in the third round to claim the interim UFC heavyweight belt. The 31 year-old Nogueira lives in Brazil but spends time in south Florida training with the renowned MMA organization, America’s Top Team.

Although he’s only 28, Frank Mir has endured quite a professional and personal rollercoaster ride since his UFC debut in November 2001 at UFC 34. Following a first round loss to Ian Freeman at UFC 38 in July 2002, Mir, a young, highly touted mixed martial arts star from Las Vegas was at a career turning point. Mir regained credibility as an emerging star with an impressive victory over UFC great Tank Abbott in February 2003. That victory led Mir on a journey to the ultimate prize in mixed martial arts, the heavyweight title. Mir defeated Tim Sylvia at UFC 48 in June 2004 in an unforgettable arm-breaking submission that UFC fans still discuss to this day.
In a span of a few months, Mir went from the heights of UFC heavyweight champion to the lows of nearly dying in a grisly motorcycle accident. The severe injuries he suffered in the horrific accident led to him being stripped of his title as he rehabbed his broken leg.
Mir returned to the Octagon almost two years later in February of 2006, but was stopped by Marcio Cruz in the first round. A subsequent decision win over Dan Christison put Mir in the win column once again, but a loss to rising star Brandon Vera put Mir back on the comeback trail. Now, after two straight victories including a first round submission of Brock Lesner, a former All-American wrestler at the University of Minnesota and WWE superstar, Mir is ready for another shot at the title.

The eighth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” goes into production in late May. The entire cast will be announced in early September.
Craig Piligian of Pilgrim Films and Television, Frank Fertitta III, Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White of Zuffa, LLC, and Kevin Kay of Spike TV are the show’s executive producers. Brian J. Diamond, senior vice president, sports & specials, Spike TV is co-executive producer and Christopher Martello is executive in charge of production for Spike TV.


  1. roy

    May 13, 2008 at 1:35 am

    i hate that they use the champ in these shows and ty up the belt for so long, and no way does mir deserve a title shot but i guess with the h.w. devision being so weak they don't have much of a choice.

  2. CagE

    May 13, 2008 at 1:54 am

    @ roy

    100% agree.

    Its going to at least a year in before Nogueira defends the belt.

  3. tom

    May 13, 2008 at 3:18 am

    they have better heavy weight fighters in the ufc then mir

  4. Achilles

    May 13, 2008 at 6:10 am

    He was a former champ that never LOST his belt. The problem is when you have 2 good grapplers the fight goes to the ground and becomes a tad boring. Even looks like 2 males dry humping not the most appealing to mma fans.

  5. roy

    May 13, 2008 at 6:48 am

    he never lost the belt but he never defended it either, and has lost fights since coming back, he lost to cruz(wheres he), vera destroyed him in 62 seconds, i like him but i don't think he is over all a great fighter and would rather see vera get a title shot or even werdum deserves one more than mir right now.

  6. Tim

    May 13, 2008 at 7:58 am

    Ya i agree, i thought Nogeuria was going to fight in August for UFC 87

  7. kom34

    May 13, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    i agree that i hate they tying up great fighters for a tv series. it puts the top of the division on hold. i think mir is a very good fighter and among ufc heavyweights he is at the top. but i really don't think he deserved that title shot yet. the problem is that i can't tell you who else does.

  8. Scooby Doo

    May 14, 2008 at 1:00 am

    i have to agree with #1, but i think A.A. the pitbull should be fighting nogueira next he has been winning. With a little lack luster ,but his last one should he had a little hunger in him. I thought it was f@%k up it was on the under card. Not seen for 44.95 they should give us 8 fights instead of 5. just a suggestion zuffa ent..


    May 14, 2008 at 3:12 am

    In my opinion, yeah mir lost some fights, but he was getting back to form, no one busted jordans balls when he came back and was rusty (Mir not comparable to MJ, just an example.) someone said up above, he never lost his title which I say it is fair that he be towards the top of a weak division. I propose that they start making the two guys that are fighting for the number one contender for the match that way at least the champ could sitll fight during that time frame. Look right now if, Liddell and Shogun were coaches rampage and forrest could still fight and it wouldnt matter which one of them won because the next fight still wouldnt happen for 6 months. Which brings me to my next point. Most of these top level guys do nothing but fight so there is no reason they cant fight 3 or 4 times a year, its not like they work a day job and only train a few hours a week.

  10. Achilles

    May 14, 2008 at 3:55 am

    You guys are right but when they are filming shows like this, for the time period that the champ and the contender are filming they should have every other top fighter in that division in action twice or at least once to narrow down who are the top 2 or 3 ranked fighters in that division so when the champ (RAMPAGE or NOG) fights the challenger (FORREST or MIR) there will already be another opponent waiting for them. By this someone who clearly deserves the title shot no matter who the champ is.

  11. kom34

    May 14, 2008 at 5:55 am

    i forgot about arlovski. he hasn't been in the picture and dana still hasn't made any progress with him. i agree that he does deserve the next title shot. but right now the rumors are that he might fight rothwell for the july aflliction event.

  12. kom34

    May 14, 2008 at 5:59 am

    i agree with you both stevo and achilles. both sound like good plans to keep the division going during the TUF seasons.

  13. Tim

    May 14, 2008 at 7:20 am

    Its not your decision, unfortunetly the UFC will always do things there way.

  14. Tim

    May 14, 2008 at 7:21 am

    Also i thought NOG was going to fight at UFC 87 in August? i assumed that would be a title shot but i guess not.

  15. Realwun

    May 14, 2008 at 8:11 am

    I think it's a good idea to get Nog and Mir on as coaches because the UFC obviously thinks these guys will be major players in the division for years to come and they want the fans to get to know them.

  16. Kris

    May 21, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Does anyone know how long the guys are in the house for the filming of the show?

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