Antonio Rogerio Nogueira To Face Brandon VeraAfter an impressive performance in his long-awaited promotional debut at UFC 106, former PRIDE ace Antonio Rogerio “Minotoro” Nogueira will look to make it two in a row inside the Octagon when he battles Brandon “The Truth” Vera in a featured light heavyweight bout at UFC 109.

Vera, who dropped a controversial decision to Randy “The Natural” Couture in the main event at UFC 105, will aim to get back on track in the division with a much-needed win. The event is headlined by a clash between Couture and fellow Hall of Famer Mark “The Hammer” Coleman.

Nogueira (18-3-0) stopped rising star Luiz “Banha” Cane with punches less than two minutes into their UFC 106 encounter. Showcasing crisp striking from his years of work with the Cuban National Boxing Team, Nogueira made a big statement in his UFC debut.

Regarded as one of the top stars in the former Pride Fighting Championships promotion, Nogueira holds wins over the likes of Guy Mezger, Kazuhiro Nakamura (twice), Kazushi Sakuraba, current Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem (twice), Dan Henderson and Vladimir Matyushenko.

Equally versed on the feet and on the ground, Nogueira is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the light heavyweight division. His close and ultra-competitive 2005 bout with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is regarded as one of the best fights in PRIDE’s history.


Vera (11-4-0) has experienced many ups and downs over the past three years. Once thought of as the future of the heavyweight division following a 69-second destruction of former champion Frank Mir at UFC 65, Vera was forced to sit on the sidelines for nearly a full year due to contractual disputes with his manager.

Since that time, the then-undefeated Vera has gone 3-4 inside the Octagon and has not looked like his former dominant self, save for a technical dismantling of Mike Patt at UFC 96 in March. Now competing in the light heavyweight division, Vera has won three of his five fights at 205 pounds.

While the judges sided with Couture in his largely uneventful bout with Vera at UFC 105, fans and journalists alike voiced their support for Vera, who had dropped Couture in the second round and landed the only damaging strikes of the fight. Now looking to once again return to the win column, Vera will face a tough test in Nogueira.


UFC 109 also features a pair of welterweight bouts, as former champion Matt “The Terror” Serra meets two-time title challenger Frank Trigg, while Josh Koscheck aims to avenge his shocking upset loss at UFC 95 when he meets Paulo Thiago for the second time.

In a pivotal middleweight clash, top contender Nate Marquardt puts his three-fight winning streak on the line against former WEC title challenger Chael Sonnen, who is coming off of a huge victory over Yushin “Thunder” Okami at UFC 104.

UFC 109: “Relentless” takes place on February 6, 2010 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

  1. Really? Serra v. Trigg? Really thin card on this PPV, it’s a lot to ask for Nog to carry a card by himself in only his second UFC bout.

    On another note any idea when we get to see Roy Nelson get his ass handed to him by a real fighter? Winning TUF is one thing, but actually competing in the UFC is another.

  2. Roy Nelson joked around on TUF, but he’s a legit fighter. He gave Arlovski all he could handle in EliteXC and that fight was arguably decided on a highly controversial referee standup. I would imagine that Serra vs Trigg is either a Loser Leaves Town match or the loser will just retire afterwards.

    Thiago vs Koscheck is a decent rematch, especially if Thiago shocks the world and wins again, and Marquardt vs Sonnen should be entertaining. I see Marquardt taking the win fairly easily, though.

    Even though Couture and Coleman are well past their primes, it’s actually a solid matchup and will hopefully be reminiscent of Couture vs Nogueira from UFC 102. It’s not as good as the UFC 110 card, but it’s better than some recent ones. I like the UFC 108 card, too, but Condit’s withdrawal hurts it somewhat.