In een interview met Tatame praat Rodrigo ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira over zijn herstel. Tijdens de partij tegen Frank Mir, die hij verloor op submission, raakte hij gelesseerd aan zijn arm. Hij is weer langzaamaan aan het trainen, “I gotta respect my body”, aldus Nogueira. Over de partij Alistair Overeem vs Junior dos Santos is Nogueira erg duidelijk, “Cigano wins via knockout, I’m sure of that. He’s a lot faster, knows how to move, he won’t get that knee, and he’s much more complete and has much more stamina, and that’ll make a great difference. Overeem has never defeated someone as big as Cigano.”

How are things going?

It’s excellent, quick. Angela Cortes does a great job and I’m a dedicated guy. We’re on our way back, I think about fighting in the middle of the year, but I gotta be patience. 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.

How does it feel to be away from practice, since you love training and fighting?

I love doing it, but I gotta respect my body.

When do you expect to train normally again?

The doctor told me after six weeks I can do my cardio, but I gotta wait at least two and a half months to put impact on my arm.

So, maybe if there’s a UFC edition in Brazil in June you can fight then, right?

I’d really like to be at UFC Brazil… Who knows? We’re trying (laughs).

How do you see the division now, after this loss?

I haven’t stopped to think about it, but I want to be among the bests. I gotta do another fight to be in a good spot. I don’t like thinking about it after a loss, I rather do it after a victory.

You have an old rivalry with Frank Mir. How much does this loss hurt, especially when it’s him on the other side of the cage?

A lot, a lot… I was really upset about what happened, but it wasn’t meant to be. I had it in my hands, I saw the knockout, but I stopped and used a completely mistaken game plan. I stopped punching when I shouldn’t and I paid it with a loss.

Junior dos Santos will defend his title against Alistair Overeem in the middle of the year. What are your thoughts about that?

Cigano wins via knockout, I’m sure of that. He’s a lot faster, knows how to move, he won’t get that knee, and he’s much more complete and has much more stamina, and that’ll make a great difference. Overeem has never defeated someone as big as Cigano.

How do you see Overeem’s evolution since Pride, where he fought names like Shogun, Arona and your brother, Rogerio?

Alistair Overeem is a lot bigger, stronger, more explosive, but not big enough to beat Junior dos Santos.