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First Main Event Preview: Minotauro ‘Big Nog’ Nogueira Vs. Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson

April 6th, 2014 at 6:58 PM
By Steven J Cavagnino

With the UFC event dry spell coming to a close, there are good things (and fights!) on the horizon. Though there hasn’t been an event for a few weeks, prepare to be spoiled, MMA fans. Starting on May 11th the UFC will be putting on 4 events in April and 6 by the end of May. 

This article will be the first in a series that previews the main events of each fight night, starting with Antonio Nogueira vs. Roy Nelson at UFC Fight Night in Abu Dhabi, April 11th.

'Nogueira lands on Couture' photo (c) 2009, MinuteDreamer - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Minotauro Nogueira is one of the most legendary fighters to ever compete in MMA. A former UFC and Pride champion, Nogueira will go down in history as, if not the best, one of the best and most accomplished heavyweights of all time. Though his UFC record isn’t stellar, he managed to win the Interim Heavyweight title in 2008 after winning the Pride heavyweight title in 2001. Nogueira’s storied career stretches over a decade, having fought the best of the best, he was considered one of three of the best heavyweights ever. Since entering the UFC Nogueira has amassed a record of 5-4, winning 2 Fight of The Night awards, a Fight of The Year award, a Knockout of the Night and Submission of the Night. 

Nogueira’s iron chin and outrageous grappling abilities have put him in some of the best fights of all time, though, the same could be said for Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson, a man with a solid chin and submission game of his own. 

Roy Nelson might be best known for being a 6’0” heavyweight with an enormous belly. Though he constantly rubs his belly for the audience, it’s only in times of victory, that being said, he has done it quite a lot. 

Nelson entered the UFC by winning season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter competition, which featured the heavyweight division. He knocked out Brendan Schaub to win the tournament and has since gone 6-5 in his UFC career. Though, again, not a stellar UFC record, Nelson has made a name for himself by possessing an ungodly powerful right hand and the ability to withstand strikes that would floor anyone else. Unfortunately for Nelson, his name is very rarely brought up when speaking about title fights. Both men are coming off losses, Nelson via decision to Daniel Cormier and Big Nog via armbar submission to Fabricio Werdum. Had either man won their last fight, their names would be at the top of the division, as their respective opponents now are.

The fact that each man is acting as a gatekeeper for the upper echelon of the division is both good and bad. They have the ability to reach the top tier of Heavyweights, and, until now, have been given up and comers to prove their worth. Now that Big Nog and Nelson are set to fight each other, it does not bode well for either man in the case of a loss. Nelson would be looking at 3 in a row and Big Nog will have lost 3 of his last 4. 

Despite the high stakes, this is an incredibly exciting fight as each man has a rock-solid chin, devastating punching power, and a ground game that can stop a fight at any moment. To make the fight even more exciting, it is possible that the loser is looking at the end of their UFC stint, or close to it. This is a high risk, high reward, kind of fight, and, both Nelson and Big Nog, will be fighting their hearts out to prove they are still UFC calibre fighters.

Also on the card are a pair of up and coming welterweights, John Howard vs. Ryan LaFlare, perennial favorites, Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Clay Guida, and Ramsey Nijem vs. Baneil Dariush.

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Tags: Abu Dhabi, Antonio Nogueira, Daniel Cormier, Fight Night, John Howard, MMA, Roy Nelson, The Ultimate Fighter, UFC

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