The UFC ventures its way back to Abu Dhabi for the first time since UFC 112, as UFC Fight Night 39 touches down in the Middle East. The card is available Friday morning/afternoon on Fight Pass, the UFC's digital network.
Fight Night 39 is headlined by Roy Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Both men are heavy-hitting heavyweights that will likely put on a fun fight for those in attendance, along with those watching around the world.
Here are the predictions for the fight night bonuses. The performance bonuses will be treated as knockout and submission of the night bonuses.
Performance of the Night No. 1: Roy Nelson
If there's one thing Roy Nelson is known for, it's his one-punch knockout power. Or his granite chin. Or his rat tail and beard. Or his protruding belly. Or his interesting personality.
Okay, he's known for a few things. The most important is one-punch knockout power.
Nelson looks like a truck driver and hits like a semi. His opponent, Nogueira, used to be able to take a beating, but his chin has slowly withered away.
That will leave Nelson with a nice opportunity to land a clean, massive shot. That knockout punch will net him an extra $50,000 he can spend at the local buffet (hopefully not in one sitdown).
Also in the Running: Beneil Dariush, Jared Rosholt
Performance of the Night No. 2: Rani Yahya
There are jiu-jitsu fighters and there are world-class jiu-jitsu fighters. Rani Yahya happens to fall into the second category.
Watching Yahya on the ground is like watching Picasso in the middle of a painting. You are watching a work of art in progress with his systematic breakdown of opponents.
Johnny Bedford has good wrestling, but has shown his submission defense to be suspect in the past. Expect Yahya to close the distance and ground Bedford, scoring a tapout and a bonus check for his troubles.
Also in the Running: Tatsuya Kawajiri, Jim Alers
Fight of the Night: Chris Camozzi vs. Andrew Craig
When the UFC announced Andrew Craig vs. Chris Camozzi, I was like a kid on Christmas because this fight is a gift.
Many people are probably overlooking this fight, but expect to see two tough guys banging it out on their feet and refusing to go down. While Camozzi is the more technical fighter, Craig is always moving forward and looking for a wild brawl.
This fight could be something special if it lasts as long as I think it will last. Both men will be able to hold their heads high, as they are compensated for their awesome effort.
Also in the Running: Tatsuya Kawajiri-Clay Guida, John Howard-Ryan LaFlare