UFC 140 Predictions: What a Win Would Mean for Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

Andrew BarrCorrespondent IDecember 10, 2011

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's bout with Frank Mir at UFC 140 is not just an ordinary fight—it's a shot at redemption.

Mir and Nogueira met in the Octagon three years ago, with Mir winning via TKO in the second round.

Since that loss, Nogueira has been going through a rough patch in his storied career, fighting infrequently and battling a lot of injuries.

Despite the injuries, Nogueira is 2-2 in his last four fights, but his wins are over lesser opponents and his losses were the fights that mattered.

Due to the recent inability to defeat top-level opponents Nogueira has shown, many have deemed him an over-the-hill fighter who has nothing more to offer than a couple of knockout losses to up-and-comers.

A win tonight for Nogueira would basically prove the haters wrong.

Nogueira is a man who loves to fight and compete and tonight is his chance to show the world of mixed martial arts that he still deserves to be talked about as one of the best in the world.

A victory tonight would also mean that Nogueira is back into the title picture—though whether or not he would want a title shot is questionable, given that the heavyweight crown is currently held by Nogueira's good friend and training partner, Junior Dos Santos.

Most of all, however, a win tonight would mean that Nogueira truly is better than Frank Mir.

Mir dominated Nogueira the first time they fought, but after the fight Nogueira blamed his lackluster performance on a staph infection.

Tonight is Nogueira's chance to prove that he was, indeed, much less 100 percent the first time that he fought Mir and that he is the better man.

Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com. For updates on what's happening in the world of MMA, follow him on Twitter @AndrewBarr8