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By: Kale Havervold, MMATorch Contributor
Roy Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira square off on Friday in the latest UFC Fight Pass main event. How do they match up in 2014? Let's take a look:
Big Country possesses one of the biggest overhand rights in the business. And while he brings some serious power, he tends to fade quickly when he throws wild and crazy punches. On the defensive end of striking, he is capable of taking a SERIOUS number of punches and still push forward. This is evident as he has absorbed nearly two hundred significant strikes in his past two fights.
Big Nog has not historically been seen as a prolific striker, as he only has three career KO victories. He may possess better technical and short punches, but he lacks consistency with his KO power, unlike Nelson, who can drop anyone at any time.
ADVANTAGE – Nelson (1)
Though Nelson does have a BJJ black belt, he often prefers to keep his fights standing if at all possible. When he does look to fight on the ground, he uses his strength and large frame to be able to keep his opponents in precarious positions while plotting his next move.
Big Nog would love to get this fight to the ground on Friday. He gets in most of his takedowns and grappling exchanges while he is in the clinch. He is normally comfortable fighting off of his back, or being on top because, as most fans know, he is one of the premier submission fighters in the UFC today.
ADVANTAGE – Nogueira(1)
Though Big Country does has a BJJ blackbelt and is very adept at fighting on the ground, he rarely does so and hasn't had a submission in years. He will do his best to avoid the ground come Friday because that is without a doubt where Nogueira will feel the most comfortable,
What can be said about Minotauro Nogueira in the submission department that hasn't already been said? He will go down as one of the best submission fighters in the history of MMA with over 20 wins by submission. He is capable of pulling off a wide variety of submissions from anywhere on the ground, so fighters need to watch out for him everywhere.
ADVANTAGE – Nogueira (2)
If there is one major knock on Roy Nelson, it is his cardio and his tendency to fade in the later rounds. One major example of this was his fight against Junior dos Santos, as he mustered little offense in the later rounds due to fatigue. In fact, in his last six fights, he hasn't won a fight that has gone past the first round.
Big Nog is coming off of a near 10 month layoff, which could spell trouble in terms of the conditioning department. He tends to last a bit longer than Nelson on most outings, but with this long of a layoff and his age, he could be more susceptible to fatigue at a faster rate, so this category is basically a pick-em.
ADVANTAGE – PUSH
EDGE: Nogueira 2-1 (Conditioning is a push)
If we are to break this fight down point by point, it seems as if Big Nog has a real shot to win this, and that might be the case. But the biggest advantage held by either fighter is Nelsons power. With Nogueira coming off of a long layoff as his age, I think Nelson makes quick work of Big Nog as ring rust is never a good thing when you're fighting a man who goes all out in Round 1.
PICK: Roy Nelson wins via TKO in Round 1
[Roy Nelson art by Cory Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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