According to recently published report on Sherdog.com top UFC recruit Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (0-0 UFC) is tentatively scheduled to make his UFC debut against Justin McCully (1-0 UFC) at Fight Night 10. Here’s the report:
“While a fight between Nogueira and Justin McCully is believed to be in the pipeline, McCully’s agent Ken Pavia declined to comment on the status of the bout except to say nothing is signed. Sources inside Nogueira’s Brazilian Top Team camp said that the former PRIDE champion’s debut UFC debut is also possible for June 23 on the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 5.”
In either case this report directly contradicts our previous rumor that Nogueira would debut at UFC 73 against a better suited opponent in Brandon Vera. This is ahuge disappointment for most UFC fans who had hoped to see “Big Nog” debut against a worthy opponent. Although this bout will give Nogueira more exposure with a US crowd as both events will be shown for free on Spike the disappointment of having a premiere fighter like Nog take on an unknown Justin McCully.
To McCully’s credit, he is riding a 4 fight win streak including an upset victory over Antoni Hardonk in his UFC debut last month. I will keep an eye on the situation to see if anything materializes but for now it appears that the UFC has opted for exposure over competition.