This is one of those fights nobody really wanted to see that just sort of ended up happening in UFC 153.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is one of the greatest heavyweight fighters of all time and remains one of the top guys in the UFC's biggest division. Dave Herman is coming off back-to-back knockout losses to Stefan Struve and Roy Nelson.
On paper, this was a crazy matchup. In the cage, it worked out as everyone expected. So what, oh what, did we learn from this?
Don't Tell Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira That Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Does Not Work
Yeah. Nogeuira is one of the foremost grapplers in MMA and has an absurd number of submission victories to his name. He has submitted fighters bigger, stronger and better than Dave Herman, so saying that he is immune to Nogueira's martial art of choice is not a wise decision.
Granted, Dave Herman's striking was by no means inspiring. He threw very few jabs, which allowed Nogueira to land whatever punches he felt like, and slap on a clinch whenever he pleased. His submission defense was solid, avoiding chokes and locks through the first two rounds.
Eventually, though, Nogueira slapped on an armbar that Herman, at first, defended properly. Then for some reason, he tried to roll out of it, and Nogueira straightened him out, forcing him to tap. Nogueira rubbed it in a little afterwards and gave his opponent something to think about on the ride home.
Should Herman get the axe?
Silly, silly Dave Herman.
Dave Herman is Kind of Bad
Nogueira is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter. I know that. You know that. Dave Herman knows that.
The thing is, Nogueira not only submitted him but also out-landed him standing throughout the fight. Herman seemed almost frozen in place and almost resigned himself to being dragged around by Nogueira. Sure, Nogueira is a savvy veteran, and his hands are a bit underrated. But come on, man! You've got to be better than that.
What got him into the UFC? He does not have a submission game to speak of. He just got dominated by a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist standing. What did he do that made a UFC scout go “damn, we need to sign this guy”?
I don't know. There must be something. I can't find it, though. And Herman obviously needs to re-find it if he wants to keep his job.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Is Pretty Popular
On a night filled with a who's who of Brazilian martial artists, none got a warmer welcome than Nogueira. He is a mixed martial arts legend, for sure. In Brazil, though, he is possibly their most popular fighter.
The crowd roared when he was shown on the big screen, went completely nuts when he entered the cage and somehow got louder when he beat Herman. It was quite impressive to see.
Anderson Silva was foggy-eyed after the win, a sight as impressive as any. While Brazilian fighters have been generally successful against foreign opponents, few have been cheered harder than Nogueira at UFC 153.
Dave Herman Will Probably Be Cut
Even though the UFC has a fairly shallow heavyweight division, three not-especially-competitive stoppage losses in a row cannot be argued with.
He was knocked out by Stefan Struve in the second round when they fought in February. He was knocked out by a signature Roy Nelson overhand right early when they fought at UFC 146. Now, he was just wrecked by Antonio Rorigo Nogueira.
Dana White may or may not cut him, but it is a move that makes sense and one that could not really be argued against by anybody. Herman has floundered mightily in the Octagon so far, and people have been cut for much, much less than what he has done so far.