'Country' time: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira expects April return, eyes UFC fight against Roy Nelson

Copyright: Martin McNeil

Two aging veterans looking to get back into the win column ... but will the challenge be accepted?

Now here is a fight that makes sense.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira has something in common with fellow Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Roy Nelson, aside from being worked by division number one contender Fabricio Werdum.

Both mixed martial arts (MMA) veterans are in dire need of a win.

"Minotauro" (34-8) is still recovering from injuries sustained in his submission loss to "Vai Cavalo" last June and anticipates an April 2014 return. If and when he finally does climb back into the Octagon, he wouldn't mind if "Big Country" was there to welcome him.

MMA Fighting has more:

"I'm totally interested in this fight. 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. I'm not training hard yet, but I'm always training something with my coaches. But I won't be able to train hard before January. I want to be back to the cage by March or April. I'll be recovered from my injury by the end of the year. Ligament injuries require six months to recover, so I can't come back before that. So before I'm able to return to training, I'm focused in my gym."

The clock is ticking.

Like the Brazilian, Nelson (19-9) could use a good showing in his next fight. The portly power-puncher has dropped back-to-back unanimous decisions to Stipe Miocic (UFC 161) and Daniel Cormier (UFC 166). While he was never in mortal danger, those fights proved that he can be outworked by a better athlete if the big right hand fails to find its mark.

But Nogueira may not be as spry as he once was.

That said, let's get some feedback on this fantasy fight, including a potential winner if UFC matchmakers should decide to put pen to paper.

Who ya' got?

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