Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Ill, Out Of UFC 108After suffering another severe staph infection, former UFC Interim and PRIDE Heavyweight Champion Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled main event bout against rising star Cain Velasquez at UFC 108. The news was confirmed by UFC President Dana White at the UFC 105 post-fight press conference.

The bout’s cancellation becomes another in a string of recent high-profile fights that have been postponed or lost altogether due to injuries or illness and it will once again put the UFC in a tough spot.

Nogueira (32-5-1, 1 NC) previously suffered a bad staph infection and a knee injury prior to his bout with Frank Mir at UFC 92, but went ahead with the fight anyway and looked to be a broken shell of his true self, as he was stopped for the first time in his career.

He has opted to withdraw from the bout with Velasquez and will be hospitalised for a considerable amount of time.

Velasquez (7-0-0) would likely have received an immediate title shot had he defeated Nogueira at UFC 108, but with the recent cancellation of the UFC Heavyweight Championship bout between Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin at UFC 106, Velasquez could be matched up against Carwin instead.


The pair were originally set to square off at UFC 104 before a series of injuries and late changes following the demise of Affliction led to Velasquez facing Ben Rothwell instead.

A further announcement to clear up the much-maligned UFC heavyweight division and its title picture should follow in the coming days.