At UFC Fight Night in Abu Dhabi, Roy "Big Country" Nelson looks to feast on Antonio "Minotauro" Nogueira. On April 11, the UFC finally returns to Abu Dhabi after the Anderson Silva and Demian Maia debacle of April 2010.
The card is void of big names after the main event but features many young up-and-comers. Fighters like Beneil Dariush, Jared Rosholt and Jim Alers look to cement their status in the UFC and start the climb up the rankings.
In the co-main event, Clay "The Carpenter" Guida takes on Tatsuya Kawajiri in what should be a fast-paced and action-packed fight. Both fighters are known for their grappling (from top position) and high-action scraps. Guida's pace and awkward fighting style give him a slight edge over the dangerous Kawajiri.
Clay Guida on Kawajiri: "I'm going to take him into deep waters and see what he's made of" @clayguida— Inside MMA (@InsideMMAaxstv) March 29, 2014
Another intriguing bout pits Dariush against Ramsey Nijem in a battle between two fighters who are trying to ascend the UFC lightweight ladder. Dariush is coming off a very impressive victory over Pros vs. Joes star Charlie Brenneman.
Dariush seems to have the necessary skills to develop into a title contender in the future. He has elite-level grappling and displayed good power in his one-round destruction of Brenneman. Dariush's grappling gives him a clear edge over Nijem and should lead him to victory.
The main event between Nelson and Nogueira is an interesting bout. While Nogueira is known for his Brazilian jiu-jitsu prowess, Nelson is no slouch and has a black belt in the gentle art as well.
Even though both fighters have many grappling accolades, look for this fight to take place mostly on the feet. Nelson has the power edge with his dangerous overhand right, but Nogueira has the more refined boxing technique. This fight will hinge on whether Nogueira can avoid Nelson's big overhand right so that he can work his technical boxing long enough to secure a decision win.
While this card doesn't seem like enough to make up for the UFC 112 stinker in terms of name value, it should have more high-octane fights than the UFC's last visit to Abu Dhabi.
Alers-Omer is a fantastic prospect fight, Dariush-Nijem should be fun, LaFlare-Howard has potential, and Kawajiri-Guida is legit awesome.— Patrick Wyman (@Patrick_Wyman) April 2, 2014