Rogerio Nogueira returns to training, hopes for UFC return in May or June

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Forced to pull out of four UFC fights due to injuries, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is finally back in the gym.

"Minotouro", who canceled a light heavyweight match-up with Alexander Gustafsson planned for March with a back injury, returned to training during the first week of 2014 and eyes a return to the Octagon in five or six months.

"I hear people talk about (fights) with ‘Shogun’ (Rua), Phil Davis or (Alexander) Gustafsson, but the truth is that I have nothing set yet (for my next fight)," Nogueira said in a release. "I’m restarting my preparation and I hope I’ll be ready to fight anyone the UFC wants in May or June."

Nogueira, who has fought only twice since 2011, explains his decision to wait a little longer before his next bout.

"I couldn’t train for a long time, so now I have to slowly go back to training to avoid new injuries," he said. "I need five months to get at my best in a fight. I can’t just stay away from training for six months and then fight in two months."

Since his UFC debut in 2009, "Minotouro" was scheduled to fight Brandon Vera, Rich Franklin, Alexander Gustafsson and Mauricio Rua on different occasions, but none of the fights materialized due to injuries. When he has stepped inside the Octagon, Nogueira has defeated Luiz Cane, Jason Brilz, Rashad Evans and Tito Ortiz. He has suffered decision losses to Phil Davis and Ryan Bader.

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