Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira may be a legend in the UFC world, but it was Roy Nelson who made waves with a knockout victory in the most notable outcome of UFC Fight Night 39 on Friday in Abu Dhabi.
Before we delve into a more detailed look at the fight between Nelson and Nogueira, as well as that between Clay Guida and Tatsuya Kawajiri, here is a glance at the full results on both the main card and the preliminary card.
|Roy Nelson||Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira||KO (3:37 Round 1)|
|Clay Guida||Tatsuya Kawajiri||Unanimous decision|
|Ryan LaFlare||John Howard||Unanimous decision|
|Ramsey Nijem||Beneil Dariush||TKO (4:20 Round 1)|
|Jared Rosholt||Daniel Omielanczuk||Unanimous decision|
|Thales Leites||Trevor Smith||TKO (0:45 Round 1)|
|Jim Alers||Alan Omer||Split decision|
|Rani Yahya||Johnny Bedford||No Contest (illegal head-butts from Bedford)|
Roy Nelson vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Nelson is known for his overhand right-hand punches, and he connected on a handful of them to knock out Nogueira.
UFC may be a violent sport, but Nelson was very gracious after his victory and even took to Twitter to congratulate his opponent (who is the only man to hold the Pride and UFC heavyweight titles) for his tremendous career:
To Nogueira’s credit, he was aggressive in the early going and hit on some jabs, but Nelson controlled this brief fight. He almost knocked out Nogueira right out of the gate with a right uppercut to the body and then another to the jaw.
Nelson eventually did knock out Nogueira in less than four minutes in the opening round and was already looking to the future while acknowledging his opponent in postgame comments, via Thomas Gerbasi of UFC.com:
“He’s a legend. If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t be fighting in MMA. ... I want to fight for the belt. Let me start right there.”
Nelson, who improved his record to 21-9, will certainly have some momentum going forward after this dramatic win. Whether he can turn that into bigger results, as it appears he wants to do, remains to be seen.
Clay Guida vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri
In the other headlining fight, Guida held off Kawajiri by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) in a fight that was much tighter than the one between Nelson and Nogueira.
Guida was impressive in the first round from the get-go, landing an overhand punch that dropped Kawajiri to the ground temporarily.
In the second round, Kawajiri was much better. The two fighters tangled against the fence for some time, and Kawajiri fended off a number of aggressive maneuvers from Guida. Still, it was clear who the better fighter was on this day.
In the third round, Guida showed his conditioning and finished off the fight with an impressive big slam takedown. While Kawajiri held his own throughout the contest, Guida was stronger and more aggressive and ultimately came away with the unanimous victory.