Sometimes, MMA is not rocket science.
One of those times came during the main event of UFC Fight Night 39, which went down Friday from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. And it didn't even take a full round.
Two 37-year-old heavyweights did battle in that main event, and you might say Roy Nelson got the better of the encounter. And how. "Big Country" Nelson knocked out fading legend Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira at 3:37 of the opening stanza using his trademark overhand right.
It was pretty clear from the beginning that the big knockout would be Nelson's strategy—just as it had been for each of his fights over the past few years. He landed his signature overhand several times, and each time, Big Nog grew a little more wobbly. On the bout's final blow, Noguiera stiffened like a board before he even hit the ground, and Nelson walked away from the scene, confident in his victory and merciful enough not to inflict any unnecessary damage on the unconscious Nogueira.
Though the strategy was simple on its face, Nelson repeatedly displayed a great sense of timing in sending his fist though Nogueira's wary defenses. And, as always, once it landed, it landed with some of the most formidable power in the entire UFC.
Nelson received a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus for the highlight-reel effort.
No immediate announcements were made for the future of either fighter. Nelson (20-9) needed a win, having lost his last two entering UFC Fight Night 39. So the victory is undoubtedly a relief for the fan favorite. He is now 7-5 inside the UFC Octagon.
This win might set up a match between Nelson and New Zealander Mark Hunt, who happen to be two of the hardest-hitting fighters ever to step inside an MMA cage. Fans have been slavering over the potential contest for years, and now could be a good time to make it happen.
Nogueira's next move is anyone's guess. He remains immensely popular with fans, especially those who remember his remarkable championship-level run in the defunct Japanese Pride promotion. But he has not looked good lately, losing two straight, three of his last four and four of his last six. Those fights were sandwiched around extended injury layoffs, and more than one of his losses have come in brutal fashion, most notably Friday's knockout and a technical submission loss in 2011 to Frank Mir, in which Mir used a kimura to break Nogueira's humerus when Nogueira refused to tap.
Scott Harris writes about MMA for Bleacher Report. For more, follow Scott on Twitter.