It’s official: there is a rift between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Brazilian Top Team. There was a lot of rumour and innuendo a month ago regarding this, and I’ll give you the Coles Notes on the history:

  • Minotauro signed with the UFC without talking to BTT head Murilo Bustamante
  • Murilo publically said he thought it was shitty of Minotauro to do this without speaking to them. He said “I will deal with Minotauro after the ADCCs”
  • Since hearing this, Minotauro has basically taken the position “I didn’t need permission from you, and until you stop acting like I should have asked, I’m not even going to talk to you.”
  • Since then Minotauro has been training with Black House, a new training group which includes Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort.

Minotauro hasn’t officially switched from BTT to Black House, but at this point there’s no communication between him and BTT heads. He trains with Black House, and my bet is you’ll see Black House guys or Minotauro’s own guys cornering him at UFC73. So effectively at this point, he’s no longer with BTT. As to how this resolves, it depends on if Murilo is willing to back down or not. And you know how Brazilians can be. So I wouldn’t hold my breath. Unless I can hold my breath for 6 months. Which is about how long it’ll take for Murilo to not back down and Minotauro to officially fight for Black House.

There’s also rumblings about that this isn’t the only split going on. Other fighters who’s BTT allegiance is now murky include co-founder Mario Sperry and fighters Ricardo Arona and Paulo Filho. More news on that if I can get anything remotely reliable to report.