The UFC Fight Night 40 card scheduled for the United Arab Emirates on April 11th is starting to get finalized. The main event is a heavyweight match’up of veterans who are trying to rebound from losses as Roy Nelson takes on Antonio Rodrigo. In fact, Nelson is trying to snap a two fight slide and Noguiera will step into the octagon having notched his last win 18 months ago, so to say both are in need of a win is an understatement. though it is a guess, the line will be tight for this one, with Noguiera perhaps getting the slight edge as the favorite.
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For Nelson, his two losses have come to Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier. Certainly losses can be excused, but Nelson was missing a lot, as he appeared to really slow down and take a step back in terms of offense. His gas tank looked questionable. In short, he has not looked good in these outings.
For Nogueira, his last loss was to Fabricio Werdum, and he also did not look great in that bout. He submitted Dave Herman in a bout back in October 2012, but prior to that suffered that gruesome arm break at the hands of a Frank Mir kimura, and many believe that Noguiera has not been the same since.
Now, with both men slowing down, this one is likely to deteriorate into a stand up fight, and that fight still favors Noguiera. Nelson has his big punch, but he has not been landing it and while trying to do so, he will lose rounds to Big Nog. Noguiera, though slow, can still land combinations in the pocket, and his chin will likely mean he can take a few shots from Nelson before Big Country tires.
Along with Mir, the UFC has a trio of veterans here that have their best days far behind them, but all three continue to hang on. Look for Noguiera to use the long layoff to come in re-focused and though misplaced, he will want to start one last title run. Nelson wont be enough to put those feelings in Minotauro to rest.