Jason “The Hitman” Brilz (18-2-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) will face Antonio Rogerio “Minotoro” Nogueira (18-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) in a light heavyweight fight this Saturday night on the main card at “UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans”.
Brilz got the call at the beginning of May, asking if he could fill in for UFC golden boy Forrest Griffin, who was forced to pull out of the fight due to injury.
Brilz, who spoke to ProMMAnow.com on Thursday, saw it as the perfect opportunity to step up. He sees “Little Nog” as his most skilled opponent to date, but also knows like anyone, he can be defeated.
Currently an assisting wrestling coach at the University of Nebraska in Omaha, Brilz is confident in his abilities.
“I didn’t take the fight for a payday or to get my name out there or anything like that,” Brilz said. “I took the fight because I think I can beat anybody on any given night. That’s why I fight and that’s why I train, to test my skills against the best guys out there. So we’re going to do that. We’re going to go test our skills against each other and see what happens.”
This will be Brilz’s fifth fight in the UFC. He holds UFC wins over Brad Morris, Tim Boetsch, and most recently, Eric Schafer, who he defeated at “UFC on Versus 1” back in March.
Fighting professionally since 2000, and for the UFC since 2008, Brilz’s only loss inside the Octagon was a split decision against Eliot Marshall at UFC 103 in Sept. 2009. His only loss before that was eight years prior.
Antonio Rogerio “Minotoro” Nogueira, who is ranked in most everyone’s light heavyweight top ten list, will be Brilz’s “biggest” fight to date. A win over “Minotoro” will at least put his name on the radar as a prospective top ten fighter.
Brilz does not feel the UFC is looking at him as just a stepping stone for “Minotoro”. He just thinks they needed a good match-up, and his wrestling and ground-and-pound style should be a good look against the jiu-jitsu and boxing of “Minotoro”.
Brilz had heard rumors a few people turned down the fight with “Minotoro” before the UFC came to him. “I think they just needed somebody who’ll match up with him. From what I heard a lot of people turned the fight down. That’s just rumors though.”
As a firefighter for the city of Omaha, Brilz’s co-workers are very supportive of his fight career and will be gathered around the pay-per-view Saturday night cheering for their buddy.
Whether he’s fighting fires or men, Jason Brilz has proved if there is a need, here is one guy you can count on to step up and do the work.
“UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans’ takes place Saturday, May 29, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. The event will air live on Pay-Per-View beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT. ProMMAnow.com will provide live results and play-by-play commentary for the event.