The UFC have named Brazilian MMA legend Antonio Rodrigo ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira as the first inductee for the UFC Hall of Fame class of 2016. The induction event will take place Sunday July 10th at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The ceremony will close out the UFC Fan Expo during the final day of the 5th annual UFC International Fight Week.
“I’m really excited to announce Minotauro Nogueira as the first inductee of the 2016 UFC Hall of Fame class,” UFC President Dana White said. “‘Big Nog’ is a mixed martial arts legend and, as an icon of the sport, we couldn’t think of a more fitting platform to make this announcement then at the record-breaking stadium event in Brazil. Nogueira is a true pioneer and we look forward to celebrating his career with all the fight fans in July at the UFC Fan Expo.”
Nogueira retired from MMA last year following a decision loss to Stefan Struve at UFC 190. He is among the most accomplished and respected MMA athletes of all time, having held both the Pride heavyweight title and interim UFC heavyweight title. His long list of career wins include opponents like Josh Barnett, Randy Couture, Fabricio Werdum and Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic.
Minotauro also operates the Nogueira Brothers Institute along with his twin brother, current UFC light heavyweight Antonio Rogerio ‘Minotouro’ Nogueira. Created in 2008, the institute has six locations that train underprivileged children in Brazil.
Rodrigo and Rogerio also own a chain of franchised Team Nogueira gyms, which consists of 33 locations. Over three years, Team Nogueira franchises have trained over 10,000 students.