Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is currently still recovering from his latest injury to his arm, but he expects to fight again in the Spring of 2014 and has Roy Nelson in his sights.
“I’m totally interested in this fight,” Nogueira told MMAfighting.com. “He’s a tough athlete and is always fighting the tops. I would like to fight him. He has a heavy hand and would be a good challenge.”
The fight makes sense as both of these veteran campaigners are currently coming off a defeat. For Nogueira that came against the man believed to be the next title challenger in the division, Fabricio Werdum which marked the second time in his last three fights that he’d been stopped by submission – something that would have seemed unthinkable earlier in his career.
Nelson has suffered back-to-back decision losses to Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier that’s left him barely clinging on to a top 10 spot on the heavyweight rankings so he really needs to get a win next time out.
Nogueira isn’t back to full training yet, but expects to do so in January and has targeted a return to the Octagon in either March or April, though given how injury prone the 37 year-old is there’s no guarantees that he’ll meet that goal.
Meanwhile, his twin brother, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is also currently on the treatment table for an ongoing back issue that forced him to pull out of a headline fight against Alexander Gustafsson in London in March of next year.
Rogerio is currently fairing better than his sibling recently, with wins over Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans placing him No.5 on the light-heavyweight rankings, but there’s no doubt that their persistent battles with injuries have held back both of these warriors over the course of their UFC careers.