Nogueira Says Referee's Warnings Made Him Go for Submission Instead of Knockout

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Nogueira Says Referee's Warnings Made Him Go for Submission Instead of Knockout
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

There were many reasons why Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira wanted the rematch with Frank Mir, and it seems as if he might be looking for another one.

After he suffered his first knockout loss at the hands of Mir at UFC 92, the Brazilian heavyweight cited a staph infection as a reason that he performed poorly. It would be almost three years before they had a rematch at UFC 140 in November.

In the rematch, Mir looked to be all but out when Nogueira knocked him down and followed up with strikes. Instead of continuing his attack, Nogueira tried for a guillotine choke and let Mir recover long enough to lock in a kimura. Mir was able to jump to half guard and after a quick reversal, broke his opponent's arm.

“I fought and lost by submission for the first time in my career," Nogueira wrote in his blog at NogueiraBrothers.com. "That was a bad sensation, but it is part of the sport. Everything that happens inside the cage is very quick and the fighter acts more by reflex than by reasoning."

Many thought former the Pride heavyweight champion would not need surgery on his broken arm after the fight, but it turns out he had to undergo surgery that required him to get 16 screws placed in his arm on Saturday.

“I know I made a mistake by trying to finish a bout that seemed won by knockout but when Frank Mir was almost knocked out, I heard the referee ask me to stop hitting the back of the head, so that was exactly when I looked to try the choke."

“Mir recovered and finished me well. But I watched the replay and I was not hitting the back of his head, it was the side of his head, where it is permitted to hit. But I am not here to give excuses. I lost. I will heal up my broken arm and go for another bout, likely in the second UFC Rio event of 2012.”

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