MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: Lil Nog Out of Planned Gustafsson Fight

Antonio Rogerio NogueiraChael Sonnen was given more fodder on Antonio Rogerio Nogueira when “Lil Nog” pulled out of a planned bout against Alexander Gustafsson over four months in advance yesterday citing lingering back issues. Nogueira has a long history of pulling out of fights, notably backing out of bouts against Rich Franklin, Mauricio Rua and a previous scheduled bout against Gustafsson back in 2012. The Brazilian veteran most recently defeated Rashad Evans early this year but has not been able to capitalize on the victory due to the injury bug. So what does this mean for Gustafsson? “The Mauler” is coming off a tremendous five round war against Jon Jones, a bout where he gave the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion the toughest test in his career, some argue he even defeated “Bones” in the UFC 165 main event. Gustafsson is one victory away from another title shot, so he’ll need to fight a credible opponent to cement his status as the number two 205-pounder on the planet. Nogueira would have been perfect. As of right now, the best option would be to fight Rashad Evans (if he gets past Chael Sonnen later this year) or Dan Henderson (if he defeats Vitor Belfort next week). It’s unlikely he’ll be matched up against teammate Phil Davis again or debuting Daniel Cormier considering UFC likely wants both men to fight for the belt next year. UFC matchmaker Joe Silva will have his hands full. UFC Signs Shooto Brazil Welterweight Champion Hernani Perpetuo Just two months after claiming the Shooto Brazil Welterweight Title, talented Brazilian Hernani Perpetuo has been scooped up by UFC and is expected to bolster the promotion’s 170 pound division. Perpetuo sports a gaudy 17-3 record with one no contest and is in the midst of a nine fight unbeaten streak. Look for Perpetuo to debut on one of UFC’s reported 14 events in Brazil next year. He’s a top talent, coming in at number five on Bloody Elbow’s 2012 welterweight scouting report. It’s time to see if he can live up to the hype against the best fighters in the world. Josh Barnett Agrees to Random WADA Drug Testing for UFC 168 UFC Heavyweight Josh Barnett took a major step towards fixing his reputation by agreeing to random WADA drug testing in advance of his upcoming UFC 168 tilt opposite Travis Browne in a pivotal division match-up that could likely create the number one contender after Fabricio Werdum. What makes this news so intriguing is that Barnett has failed tests for steroids not once, not twice, but three times in his stories career, notably being stripped of his UFC Heavyweight Title back in 2002 and basically running the Affliction promotion into the ground after failing a drug screening prior to a bout opposite Fedor Emelianenko for its third event. Barnett returned to UFC after over 10 years outside the promotion earlier this year at UFC 164, knocking out former two-time champion Frank Mir in the first round with some brutal dirty boxing in the clinch, showcasing a serious mean streak in the process and definitely earning his new nickname “The Warmaster” in the process. It’s great to see him taking steps to improve not only as a fighter but also as a person with this random drug testing.

Written by Brian Hemminger

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