The October 19th UFC 166 card scheduled for the Toyota Center in Houston and headlined by the third bout between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez, has added another heavyweight fight as a co-main event. Veteran Roy Nelson, fresh from signing a new multi fight deal with the UFC, faces former Strikeforce talent Daniel Cormier. It will be a very tough fight for Nelson, and one that he will surely come in as the underdog for when the books start opening the lines.
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What the UFC is doing here is covering their bases should Dos Santos defeat Velasquez in the main event. An immediate 4th bout between Velasquez and Dos Santos may not be appealing, and Cormier provides them with an opponent for Dos Santos with a win. Nelson was thought close to a title shot after three straight first round KO’s, but he looked slow to the punch in his most recent outing, a loss to Stipe Miocic.
This is a terrible matchup for Nelson, and one he is unlikely to win. Miocic exposed him as aging, and his three KO wins made people forget, but he was slow to the punch in his previous loss to Fabricio Werdum.
Daniel Cormier is a A class Stipe Miocic, He is a better wrestler and athlete, has more gas and hits harder than Miocic, which spells trouble for Nelson, who will be relegated to trying to catch Cormier with one big punch. The only way this goes to the ground is if Cormier gets tagged or doesnt like how the fight is going standing and he goes for the takedown. Though Nelson is an excellent grappler (or once was) he cant hold off Cormier on the ground, and he is unlikely to work a submission off his back.
It is well known that Cormier and Velasquez are teammates, so if Velasquez beats Dos Santos, he will likely get Fabricio Werdum next. But if Dos Santos wins the bout, you can look for Cormier to be Dos Santos’ first challenger.