Both fighters are undeniably talented. Both are very popular with the fans. Both fighters have an impressive highlight reel career already. So, I find it surprising that both are coming off loses. We all thought that Ortiz was back to his winning ways with a quick knockdown and submission over Ryan Bader at UFC 132. He even did the ‘grave digger’ victory dance. Taking a fight with former Light Heavyweight champion Rashad Evans at UFC 133, just a month later, derailed his momentum. Most fans are saying that he is ‘washed-up,’ again.
Now Ortiz has a chance to correct his path against one the division’s best boxers in Nogueira. Who is also coming off surprising loses; not just one but two in a row. “Little Nog” dropped unanimous decisions to former college wresters. At UFC 119 he lost to Ryan Bader and at UFC: Fight Night to Phil Davis. Facing another wrestler for the third time in a row, it will be interesting to see if Nogueira has learned better takedown defense or a way to win off his back.
Ways to Win…
Ortiz will win if he is able to take his opponent to the ground and implement his classic ground and pound technic. Nogueira is a very talented boxer; Ortiz will have to use angels and speed to get underneath punches to attempt takedowns.
Nogueira will win if he can keep the fight on the feet and turn this MMA fight into a boxing match. He will have to rely on footwork, keeping enough distance to hit, but not get taken down.
Ways to Lose…
Ortiz could also lose this fight by having a poor gas tank like he displayed during his latest fight with Forrest Griffin. Ortiz was only able to land seven punches in the entire third round. It was one of the most one-sided rounds that I can recall.
Nogueira could lose this fight he underestimates Ortiz’s takedown offence and tries to rely on his BJJ skills too much. I believe that a talented wrestler can stuff BJJ offence from the top position. He should instead use his energy to stand back up or control his opponent for a stand up by the referee.
Nogueira via TKO in Round 2