Minotauro puts broken arm behind him

NEIL SPRINGER, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:39 AM ET

TORONTO - Less than three months after having his arm viciously snapped by Frank Mir, Antonio Rodrigo (Minotauro) Nogueira is already back training.

The former interim UFC heavyweight champion was only expected to do a light workout at a press event in Rio de Janeiro Monday.

But once he got started, it was too hard to stop. It wasnt long before Nogueira put his training gear on and began sparring with teammate Diego Braga.

I felt great; I was longing to train, Nogueira told Sherdog. I was just going to show some shadow training, but I couldnt stand it.

Though hes itching to go full out in the gym, Nogueira has still not completely recovered from the injury. In mid-December he went under the knife to repair his damaged arm.

I still need about three weeks of physical therapy (and) to hone my boxing with coach Erivan (Conceicao), Nogueira said. Then, later, Ill call Master (Ricardo) de la Riva and start training jiu jitsu. I think Im back in a month.

CLOSE CALL FOR KING MO

Muhammed (King Mo) Lawal almost lost his leg.

The former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion underwent corrective surgery to repair a torn ACL and microfracture following his January bout with Lorenz Larkin. He developed a serious staph infection after the procedure and the condition was so severe, amputation was discussed as the only treatment.

Lawal has since undergone seven procedures to remove the infectious matter. He was initially administered antibiotics 24 hours a day through a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line. Though he has since switched to a different type of medication that is administered twice daily, Lawal is also hooked up to two devices that drain excess blood and pus.

Lawal appears to be on the mend. But hes not quite out of the woods yet.

Im just trying to stay positive and hoping this medicine works, Lawal told MMA Junkie. If this medicine works, I cant wait to get back in the cage.

SWAMI CRUZ PICKS...

Perhaps no one has more insight into the coming UFC flyweight tournament than bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.

Of the four fighters competing to crown the first UFC 125-pound titleholder, Cruz has beaten three Ian McCall, Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez (twice). Former Shooto champion Yasuhiro Urushitani fills the final spot in the brackets.

Cruz said he expects Benavidez to take home the gold.

Ill predict Benavidez and I will say it will be Ian and Benavidez in the finals, Cruz said over the phone. Benavidez mixes his combinations together well and mixes his combinations with his takedowns. Hes a well-rounded MMA fighter and Ive fought him. I understand. Ive felt it. Ive felt the difference in those three specific guys.

I see him coming out on top. Its not going to be easy. Demetrious is no joke. Ian is no joke. And to be honest, Im sure Yasuhiro ... is a stud no doubt. Hes in the tournament. Its just if youre not fighting in the UFC, Im going to assume youre not fighting the top-tier level guys in the world.

The flyweight tournament kicks off at UFC on FX 2 in Sydney, Australia on Saturday, but due to the time difference it will air live in North America on Friday evening. Benavidez will take on Urushitani and McCall meets Johnson. The winners will then square off at a later date.

HENDERSON PREDICTED HIS FUTURE

Not only is Benson Henderson the new UFC lightweight champion, he can apparently see into the future.

Henderson auditioned for The Ultimate Fighter: United States vs. United Kingdom, which aired from April to June 2009. Despite holding a victory over UFC veteran Diego Saraiva, he didnt make the cut.

However, in his TUF audition tape, which can be viewed on YouTube (tinyurl.com/bendotuf), Henderson predicts he will rise to the top of the 155-pound division.

Ive fought my way through the smaller shows and now its my time to dance under the big lights, Henderson says in the video. I will win ... season nine of The Ultimate Fighter and I will fight for the title.

Youre looking at the future lightweight champion of the UFC.

Oddly enough, former champion Frankie Edgar was also rejected after trying out for the fifth season of TUF.

FIGHTING REJECTION

Both UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson and former titleholder Frankie Edgar were rejected by The Ultimate Fighter.

Here are just some of the competitors who came close to starring on the popular reality show:

Nick Diaz

Jon Fitch

Eddie Alvarez

Denis Kang (signed with PRIDE)

Tyron Woodley

Anthony Johnson


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