The heaviest card in UFC history is upon us come this Saturday night from Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Arena. And after Alistair Overeem throwing a wrench in the works and Gabriel Gonzaga getting injured; Roy Nelson has landed on Dave Herman to keep this card all heavyweights for the first time the promotions history. Thank goodness for that, right!? We’ll see. The heavyweight division is as deep as it has ever been, but this card still seems forced to me. However, none of that will matter if the card is a huge (pun) PPV success. The masses do love heavyweight action. They are drawn into them for some mystical reason, but are they drawn to ‘these’ heavyweights?
Roy Nelson (16-7 MMA; 70%) is coming off of a moral victory for dropping a unanimous decision with Fabricio Werdum instead of being knocked out in the first round back at UFC 143 in February. Did I mention Nelson’s granite chin before, of course I have, because it’s painfully obvious that he has one. Nelson is one out of his last three fights in the UFC and sits at an even three-and-three overall in the same promotion. This is not a must win for the TUF Season 10 winner, but it is a fight that he should win. He is a -225 at the first MMA betting odds website that I Googled. Fights that you ‘should’ win are more dangerous to a career than any other fights.
Dave Herman (21-3 MMA; 88%) is also coming off of a lose to Stefan Struve via TKO in the second round at UFC on FUEL TV back in February as well as his opponent. Herman is only one-and-one with the MMA’s top promotion, so this match makes a lot of good MMA sense on paper. Even if they don’t match up in other areas such as MMA background, nicknames, body type and hairstyles. Herman has a good shot at becoming the darling of the night if he can win as a decent underdog, especially if it’s a powerful knockout or quick submission.
Ways to Win…
Nelson should be able to get in close with his power striking and get the clinch. From there, with his lower center of gravity, he might want to take the fight to the ground as soon as possible while they are dry. After gaining half guard or even side control from the takedown, he will have the option to win by TKO with his strategic ‘ground and pound’ or by a submission.
Herman should stick behind his jab and keep the distance/his hips away from Nelson as long as possible. I hope his cardio is up to snuff, because this may go all three rounds with Nelson’s power chin. Maybe a good plan would be to attack the legs with low kicks and keep the distance with push kicks. I know you shouldn’t kick wrestlers in order to avoid easy single leg takedowns, but maybe it will work if Herman is quick enough.
Nelson via kimura in round one followed quickly with a slender belly rub. Dana White shakes his head.
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