In a chat with Graciemag.com, UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira sounded off on all things TUF 8, most notably an alleged budding â€œrivalryâ€ between himself and former champion and opposing coach Frank Mir:
â€œThe mood of rivalry between us is getting strong. We see each other here all the time, and I’ve known his game for a while. Ever since he (Mir) submitted Roberto Traven at the UFC in 2001, he’s been known. But you’ll see: I’m going to be all over him standing, Iâ€™m better than him both standing and on the ground.
In the fight with Sylvia the way to the win was clearly on the ground, but against Mir I’m going to show more of what I’m capable of to the world and my fans. I’ll always respect him as an adversary, of course. Even more so since heâ€™s trained with Demian Maia and Robert Drysdale,â€ says Nogueira from within the house, in between grueling eight-hour filming sessions, seven days a week.”
While many feel the approaching eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter will be nothing short of lackluster, I suppose itâ€™s almost comforting to know that Mir and Nogueira just might be growing to hate each other. But really I canâ€™t see either coach being that confrontational, unless Dana and company decide to force some “creative influence” which is something I wouldnâ€™t put past them. We shall see.
Season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter debuts September 17th on Spike TV.