If it were up to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, the former interim UFC heavyweight champion would make his return to the Octagon in June at the rumored UFC card in Brazil. However, that isn’t entirely up to “Minotauro.”
Last December, Nogueira suffered a broken arm in a loss to Frank Mir. After having the arm put back together, Nogueira is working his way back to training.
“It’s excellent, quick. Angela Cortes does a great job and I’m a dedicated guy,” said Nogueira, in a recent interview with Tatame.com. “We’re on our way back, I think about fighting in the middle of the year, but I gotta be patient. My bone will be solidified in six weeks. I’ve started swimming and doing stronger exercises with my arm and then I’ll start working on my cardio so that later I’ll start really to train again. It’s going better than I thought.”
Nogueira added that, “We’re trying,” when asked about being ready to compete in Brazil. Earlier in 2011, Nogueira knocked out Brendan Schaub in his native country, setting him up for the rematch with Mir.
As for his fellow friend and training partner, UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, Nogueira doesn’t see “Cigano” having any trouble with his next challenger, Alistair Overeem.
“‘Cigano’ wins via knockout, I’m sure of that,” Nogueira said. “He’s a lot faster, knows how to move, and he’s much more complete and has much more stamina.”