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Nogueira Set To Make His Return For Five-Round Main Event Versus Nelson At UFC Fight Night

Posted by Jack “The Hammer” Howard on 4/4/2014 9:54:16 PM

A pair of former title contenders will headline the main card when the UFC returns to Abu Dhabi for UFC Fight 39, as Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira clashes with Roy Nelson in a five-round main event. Nogueira has been out of action since he was a coach in TUF Brazil 2, but he has the drawing power as one of the more recognizable names in the sport, and he should be able to push Nelson as both fighters look to get back on track with a win. Neither fighter is in the prime of his career any longer, but that doesn’t mean that these two heavyweights aren’t capable of putting on a show.

UFC Fight Night 39

(34-8-1) Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Roy Nelson (19-7-0)

Friday April 11, 2014

du Arena, Abu Dhabi, UAE

UFC Betting Line: Nelson – 165

Nelson is coming off back-to-back unanimous decision losses to Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier that have taken the momentum from the three-straight wins he had strung together before that. Nelson still has incredible punching power and is capable of ending this fight at a moments notice, and Nogueira is a strong enough challenger to make this bout worth watching.

UFC Betting Preview: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

Now 37-years old, Nogueira is clearly past the prime of his career, and every fight now is about his love for the sport and the money that comes with the competition. Nogueira’s last two losses are testament to that, as both of them have come via submission, even though before that he had never tapped out before. In between those two losses is a Submission of the Night win over Dave Herman, and there is no denying that Big Nog still has the technical skill to compete at this level. Nogueira will have to be careful and pick his spots, but he does have the technical edge heading in to this tilt.

UFC Betting Preview: Roy Nelson

Nelson is also 37-years old, but unlike Nogueira his game relies more on brute strength and punching power than technique, and in some ways that can hurt a fighter with age. However, Nelson is still 3-2 since 2012, with a pair of Knockout of the Night honors on his resume, and that’s enough to make him the favorite heading in to this fight. Nelson will have to be patient and avoid putting himself in a position where he is vulnerable to Nogueira’s submission technique, and it might be best for him to keep this fight standing as long as possible in order to capitalize on his strengths.

UFC Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

It’s been almost a year since Nogueira last fought professionally, and that’s a long time for a veteran fighter that is at this stage of his career. Nelson isn’t flashy and he isn’t the most skilled guy either, but he packs a lot of power in his punches, and as long as he can control the fight and stay on his feet, he should be able to come out on top.

UFC Betting Pick: Roy Nelson - 165

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