- RODRIGO NOGUEIRA TARGETS FEBRUARY, AUSTRALIA

November 22, 2009
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by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
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Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is looking forward to the day when
he can enter a fight 100-percent healthy, or at least without a staph
infection.

 

Just after accepting a heavyweight challenge against
youngster Cain Velasquez for UFC 108 on Jan. 2, Nogueira discovered that he had
another staph infection, the fourth instance in a one-year span.

 

“I didn’t take the antibiotic enough. The medicine given me
in Brazil wasn’t good,” href="http://videos.mmaweekly.com/view_player.php?id=3302">the former Pride and
UFC champion told MMAWeekly.com on Saturday night. “Now Dana White send me
(to) a different doctor here last week. I’ll be on treatment for six weeks with
antibiotics.”

 

The recent round with the ailment caused him to withdraw
from UFC 108, effectively leaving the UFC without a major headline bout. The
promotion has since elevated the Rashad Evans versus Thiago Silva co-main event
to top billing.

 

The change couldn’t be helped.

 

“If I (had accepted) the match for (UFC 108), I would have
just 18 days for training. It’s not enough,” Nogueira stated.

 

As long as the antibiotics do their job this time, the
legendary Brazilian fighter expects to be ready for his Octagon return in February.

 

“In February I’ll be ready to fight when they ask me to fight.
In February I think I’ll be in shape. I’d love to fight in Australia. If they
put me on the card, I would love to fight there,” he said.

 

He’d still like to step in the cage with Velasquez upon his
return.

 

“I’m not the type of guy that’s gonna give up some
challenge. That’s a good challenge, young guy, strong, push… I push too. I’d
love to have the match.”

 

Now it’s just a matter of waiting for the medication to do
its thing and the UFC to tell him when and where he’ll return to action.

 

(Click
here to watch MMAWeekly.com’s exclusive interview with Antonio Rodrigo
Nogueira.)

 

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