For many fighters, consecutive losses put their respective tenures in the sport's largest organization in question. When it comes to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, the problem is his very physiology.
Whether it is a flaw in his training program, inability to slow his pace during camp or simply a lack of luck, Lil' Nog simply seems incapable of staying healthy.
Pulling out of his fight with Mauricio Rua at UFC 161 has to cast doubt on Nogueira's viability in the UFC altogether. The latest injury caused his third pull out since August of 2011.
Nogueira's first injury was due to a shoulder injury, which forced him to drop out of a fight scheduled against Rich Franklin at UFC 133, according to MMAJunkie.com.
In 2012, Nogueira had to back out of a fight against Alexander Gustafsson that was scheduled for UFC on Fuel TV 2, citing a knee injury, according to StudioMMA.com.
A year later and Nogueira is injured once again. This time, the Brazilian has cited a back injury, which spoils a long-awaited rematch of his barnburner match with "Shogun" Rua in 2004. The news was first reported by Combate.com and later confirmed by John Morgan of MMAJunkie.com.
The drop out leaves a chasm in an already lacking UFC 161 card set for June 15. For the UFC, it raises questions of how much it is willing to float on Lil' Nog, given his history. The Brazilian's pattern of dropping out of main card fights costs the company each time it occurs.
And as good as hardcore fans of the sport know Rogerio Nogueira can be, he is not a big-name draw, in part due to his lack of screen time due to injury. When one considers the totality of the situation, including his recent lackluster performance against Rashad Evans at UFC 156, Nogueira's time at the UFC could certainly be in danger.