UFC 166: Cormier vs. NelsonSaturday, October 19 – 10:30 p.m. ET
Toyota Center – Houston, TX
Daniel Cormier (12-0) vs. Roy Nelson (20-8)Heavyweight bout
Line: Cormier -575, Nelson +375
The trash-talking will come to an end on Saturday as Daniel Cormier puts his undefeated record on the line at UFC 166 when he goes up against Roy Nelson.
While it is not the main event of the night featuring Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos brawling for the third time, this fight is equally as personal as each fighter has been very vocal about his opponent coming into the match. Daniel Cormier boasts a perfect 12-0 record in his career and appears to be a future championship contender. He has shown the ability to be able to win a match by any way necessary, and the more experienced he gets, the scarier he will become. Despite losing a few matches recently, Roy "Big Country" Nelson is one of the most loved fighters in all of the UFC. He is not your normal fighter with the top physique, and he absolutely doesn’t care about it. He is blessed with incredible knockout power, and is always one punch away from ending the match in a hurry. However, he runs into problems when the fight hits the latter rounds because of his cardio. This will play a huge role in the fight, as the heavily-favored CORMIER will use his complete game to get the victory over Nelson.
Of Cormier's 12 career victories, five have been way of knockout, with four by decision and three by submission. The last time Cormier was in the Octagon on April 20, he won a long grueling match by unanimous decision over former heavyweight great Frank Mir. While Nelson will have a one-inch and 15-pound advantage in this fight, Cormier will have the sizable edge in quickness and strength. He averages 3.87 strikes landed per minute, while Nelson only averages 2.28. It his cardio that allows him to land the punches that wear out opponents, while Nelson is throwing punches with the sole intention of knocking his opponent out. If the 34-year-old Cormier is able to keep Nelson away from him and tire him out, he will have no problem. However, if he gets baited into an early slugfest with Nelson, the result may be a little different.
Thirteen of Nelson’s 20 career victories have come by way of knockout including all of his UFC wins, so it is not a secret in how he wants to finish the match. However, he does have four submission victories as well. In Nelson's last match against Stipe Miocic on June 15, he lost by way of decision, as Miocic had 106 strikes and Nelson managed just 23. The 37-year-old Nelson has won only three career matches by way of decision, where once again, his lack of elite cardio comes back and hurts him. His past four losses have all been via decision. Nelson is a heavy swinger, averaging 5.09 strikes attempted per minute, compared to 1.39 for Cormier. With his opponent the better-conditioned athlete by far, Nelson must try and attack early, ending the fight as fast as he can.