We are just hours away from the UFC first ever show in Australia and the fight card is pretty good. One thing I have noticed on this card is just how evenly match many of the fights are. The main event between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Cain Velasquez is no different as the fight to me is very even. The matchup is the always interesting raising star (velasquez) versus the grizzled veteran (Nogueira) where either could win.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-5-1) after beating Randy Couture at UFC 102 is looking to get a title shot with a win tonight. The guy has fought everyone who is anyone in MMA and impressively only 5 losses in his career. Nogueira is a Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo along with having good boxing skills. Nogueira has a solid chin and is a master of submission had 20 career victories via submission. The keys for him will be the keep the fight standing and use his boxing skills, and stay away for the takedown. Even though he is strong off his back Nogueira does not want to be on the bottom with Velasquez controlling him and punching him. Nogueira has the skills to get up off his back plus could pull out a submission from there but should try and avoid it as much as possible.
Cain Velasquez (7-0) has been on a tear in the UFC going 5-0 and recently beat Ben Rothwell at UFC 104 via second round TKO. In all but one (Cheick Kongo) of his fights in the UFC he finished the fight within 2 rounds by TKO. Velasquez is on a fast track to the top of the Heavyweight division and a win over the legend Nogueira will put him next in line. A cardio machine and a very strong wrestler, Velasquez outworks his opponent’s takes you down and ground and pounds you out. I’d expect to see the same style from him here, as Velasquez will look to quickly take Nogueira down and end the fight. He is going to have to be careful though because even on his back Nogueira can submit you.
This fight is going to be good and I look for Velasquez to take Nogueira down but be cautious from top position. Nogueira will work hard from his back to get up or lock up a submission the whole time on his back which will tire him out. By the late second and third round Velasquez will have worn Nogueira down and should be able to end the fight by ref stoppage.