UFC heavyweight Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is expected to be away from training, not to mention competition, for three months, Nogueira manager Ed Soares said Monday.
Nogueira, who submitted June 8 to a Fabricio Werdum armbar at UFC on Fuel TV 10 in his native Brazil, suffered ligament damage in the process and ultimately underwent surgery.
“He had surgery on his arm," Soares said Monday on The MMA Hour broadcast. "He had some ligament damage. The doctors are saying he should be back and training in about three months.”
Soares also confirmed that Nogueira does want to continue his fighting career.
“He’s still a top 10 heavyweight in the world,” Soares said.
Still, it's a long absence for the 37-year-old Nogueira (34-8-1-1). The original article announcing that Nogueira would have surgery estimated he would miss about eight weeks.
Nogueira has absorbed 25 percent of his professional losses in the past year and a half. In 2011, Nogueira lost to Frank Mir by technical submission when Mir used a kimura to break Nogueira's humerus. That injury also required surgery—including 16 screws—and kept Nogueira out of action for 10 months.
After his return from the broken humerus, Nogueira picked up fresh momentum by defeating Dave Herman in front of a friendly crowd in Rio de Janeiro at UFC 153. The performance, which went on to receive a Submission of the Night bonus, was particularly noteworthy because Herman had famously asserted that Brazilian jiu-jitsu didn't "work."
A surefire Hall of Famer, Nogueira is nevertheless just 3-4 in his last seven contests, with wins coming over a 45-year-old Randy Couture and middle-of-the-pack heavyweights Herman and Brendan Schaub. Those four losses came to current champion Cain Velasquez, Werdum and twice to Mir. The first time he faced Mir, back in December 2008, Nogueira lost the interim UFC heavyweight title, which he won by defeating Tim Sylvia.