UFC News: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Chris Leben return to the Octagon

By Al Stover

Two of the UFC’s more notable stars will be making their return to the cage.

On Wednesday it was announced that former UFC Interim Heavyweight champion and Pride champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and middleweight Chris Leben will be making their comebacks to the UFC, abiet different dates.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira returns to Rio

Nogueira will face Dave Herman at UFC 153 on Oct. 13. This announcement was made on Wednesday, one day after UFC President Dana White announced that both UFC Featherweight champion Jose Aldo and former light heavyweight champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson had to pull out of the event due to injury.

Nogueira is coming off of a loss to Frank Mir at UFC 140 where Mir broke his arm. He was scheduled to make a return at UFC 149 to face Cheick Kongo, but was not ready to return to competition. Herman is coming off of a K.O. loss to Roy Nelson at UFC 146.

With UFC 153 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, having Nogueira on the card somewhat makes up for Aldo’s and Jackson’s absence.

Nogueira is a capable striker on his feet and if he can get in a good shot, Herman just might get knocked out once more.

Leben returns after suspension

Leben will be returning at UFC 155 to face Karlos Vemola on Dec. 29. He is coming off a year suspension from testing positive for oxycodone and oxymorphone after his fight with Mark Munoz, where he lost in the second round by TKO.

Prior to his loss to Munoz, Leben scored a 27 second knock out over Wanderlei Silva back at UFC 132.

Vemola is also coming off o loss to Francis Carmont back in July.

Leben and Vemola will join an already stacked card that includes the rematch between Chael Sonnen and Forrest Griffin, as well as the rematch between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velazquez for the UFC Heavyweight championship.

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