UFC on Fuel TV 10: Big Nog vs Werdum Analysis

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On June 8, the finale of the second season of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” will take place in Fortaleza, Brazil, on “UFC on Fuel TV 10.

The heavyweight fight in the main event will feature a rematch from a 2006 fight between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Fabricio Werdum.  Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (not to be confused with twin brother Antonio Rogerio Nogueira) holds a MMA record of 34-7-1 with one ‘no contest’ and is the former Pride and interim UFC heavyweight champion.

His opponent Werdum is 16-5-1 in MMA and has yet to taste UFC gold.  This fight could determine who receives the next shot at UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez (after his rubber match with number one contender Junior dos Santos). Nogueira is ranked #8 in the UFC heavyweight division, and Werdum #3.

At one point, Nogueira was considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, possessing a fourteen fight unbeaten streak where he bested some of the elite heavyweights of his time.  He was known for his heart and durability; being able to take great amounts of punishment and still manage to win his fights.

He started his career in 1999, and was never finished in a fight until 2008 (by TKO at the hands of former UFC heavyweight champ Frank Mir). However, since that loss, the now 37-year old has been finished twice (one by KO, one by submission) and is only 3-2 in his last five fights.  Werdum on the other hand, is riding a two-fight winning streak, and he is 5-1 in his last six. Most recently, he showed improved striking to TKO Mike Russow back in June of last year. From those stats, the 35-year old Werdum is the favorite to win.

As long as these fighters are on their feet, Nogueira will look to utilize the great boxing skills that both he and his brother possess. He will likely look to use his jab to keep Werdum on the outside while he searches for an opening.  Werdum has more of a muay thai style, which means he will throw more kicks, and will use knees in the clinch.

These two are amongst the best grapplers in the UFC heavyweight division, and in the world for that matter.  It is hard to tell which man will have the edge if the fight goes to the ground.  I imagine Werdum will get the nod here; he is bigger, stronger, and younger, and will use his strength advantage to over power Nogueira.

In the end, I predict this fight taking place primarily on the feet, seeing as both men are so close on the ground. Back in 2006, Nogueira won their first encounter by unanimous decision. After competing in over 40 professional MMA bouts and receiving a lot of punishment, his chin just isn’t what it used to be though.  I predict Werdum getting a feel of the fight in round one, then swarming Nogueira in round 2 with strikes. It will only be a matter of time before Nogueira is on the receiving end of a big punch or knee, and Werdum wins this fight by KO in the second round. Yet, Nogueira has proven time and time again you can’t measure heart and determination, and he should never be counted out.

That’s it for this article. Don’t miss UFC on Fuel TV 10, taking place on June 8th.

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