He is the only man to hold a title belt in both Pride and the UFC. He is known to have once had one of the best chins in mixed martial arts. He is the twin brother of fellow mixed martial artist Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Nogueira took a lengthy hiatus after the Velasquez fight. Finally, he was announced to be fighting in a rematch against rival Frank Mir. Nogueira reportedly rejoiced at the chance to win redemption in the eyes of many once-loyal fans. Unfortunately, about a month before the fight, he was injured and required surgery and he was forced to pull out of the fight. Mirko Filipovic replaced him.
The injury was a serious one to Nogueira's hip. He successfully received the surgery and he was not able to return to the sport until mid-2011. Nogueira next returned in Brazil against prospect Brendan Schaub, defeating the highly-touted Schaub via a shocking first-round knockout.
Nogueira next fought his rematch against former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir. Despite dropping Mir early with a blistering combination of punches, Nogueira was overtaken by Mir on the ground. Mir locked up a fight-ending kimura, snapping Nogueira's arm with a submission victory that Nogueira -- and many, many MMA fans -- wouldn't soon forget. Nogueira declined major surgery after the horrific injury, but he must have begun to consider retirement.
After recovering sufficiently, Nogueira then signed on to make his return against intimidating French striker Cheick Kongo. Before the fight with Kongo, Nogueira signed on to compete on the Brazilian version of the Dancing With The Stars reality show like his American counterpart Chuck Liddell. Nogueira was injured and replaced by Shawn Jordan.
He next signed to face Dave Herman, submitting Herman with an armbar near the end of the fight's second round.
Nogueira was next announced to be coaching the second season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil against rival Fabricio Werdum. Werdum defeated Nogueira via second round armbar submission, only the second time Nogueira had been submitted.
As Nogueira recovered a few weeks afterwards, he was already enthusiastically linked to rumors of a fight with the seven-foot-tall Skyscraper Stefan Struve.
Instead in November 2013, Nogueira was linked to an early 2014 matchup with Ultimate Fighter winner Roy Nelson. Nelson knocked Nogueira out cold with a huge overhand right.
Nogueira was forced to take some time off to contemplate the state of his career. Many wanted him to retire for the sake of his well-being with three decisive losses in his last four fights. In August 2014 Nogueira announced that he would retire at the end of 2015 because he had two fights left on his contract.
Nogueira fought Stefan Struve in August 2015 losing a dominant unanimous decision. The day after the fight Dana White announced that Nogueira had agreed to retire from the sport.
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Nate Schroeder - Nogueira came in undefeated in his second pro MMA fight while Schroeder was 2-5. The fight was in 1999.
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Kiyoshi Tamura 1
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Valentijn Overeem 2 - The fight was in the finals of the 2000 Rings King of Kings tournament.
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Mark Coleman
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Sanae Kikuta - The fight was Nogueira's first and only knockout victory.
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Bob Sapp - The fight was Bob Sapp's first MMA loss.
- Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira 1 - The fight was for the Pride heavyweight championship with Nogueira defending. Nogueira was a heavy favorite coming into the fight. Many hadn't realized the potential that Fedor Emelianenko possessed at that time.
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Ricco Rodriguez - The fight was considered a controversial decision for the ages. Ricco Rodriguez was representing the UFC.
- Mirko Filipovic vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - The fight was for the interim Pride heavyweight championship. The fight was one of the most exciting fights in Pride history, with Mirko Filipovic dropping Nogueira with one of his famous high kicks at the end of the round but Nogueira survived it in the corner. He was not unconscious. In the second round, Nogueira pulled off a miraculous armbar victory.
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Heath Herring 2 - The fight was in the quarterfinals of the Pride 2004 heavyweight grand prix. The fight was Nogueira's second consecutive anaconda choke.
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Sergei Kharitonov - The fight was Sergei Kharitonov's first loss in his career. The fight was in the semifinals of the Pride 2004 heavyweight grand prix. Nogueira went on to a no-contest with Fedor Emelianenko later that night in the finals, with a headbutt cutting Fedor and postponing the final for four months.
- Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira 2 - The fight was in the finals of the Pride 2004 heavyweight grand prix, but ended in a no-contest due to a cut to Fedor Emelianenko resulting from an accidental headbutt. The fight and the finals it concluded were rescheduled.
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Pawel Nastula - The fight was Pawel Nastula's joint Pride and MMA debut. It was also his first loss but certainly not his last.
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Fabricio Werdum - The fight was in the quarterfinals of the Pride 2006 Openweight Grand Prix.
- Josh Barnett vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira 1 - The fight was in the semifinals of the Pride 2006 openweight grand prix.
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Josh Barnett 2 - The fight was Josh Barnett's last fight in Pride and Nogueira's as well.
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Heath Herring 3 - The fight was Nogueira's UFC debut, and it was his third and final fight in the trio against Herring.
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Tim Sylvia - The fight was for the vacant UFC interim heavyweight championship. Nogueira managed to win it after a three-round war, becoming the first and only man to hold a title in both Pride and the UFC.
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Frank Mir 1 - Nogueira failed in the defense of his interim heavyweight title and this fight marked the first time that Nogueira had been stopped in his mixed martial arts career. He chalked it up to having staph infection.
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Randy Couture - The fight was considered to be one of the best fights of 2009.
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Cain Velasquez - The fight was only the second time Nogueira had been finished and the first time he had been knocked unconscious.
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Brendan Schaub
- Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira 2 - The fight was the first time that Nogueira had been submitted, after Frank Mir broke his shoulder with a kimura.
- Roy Nelson vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
- Stefan Struve vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - After the fight Nogueira retired.
"I played his game for 11 minutes, and I'm still here. He played my game for 11 seconds." - Nogueira after the Sylvia victory.