Nogueira vs. Velasquez

The main event of UFC 110 is a heavyweight contenders matchup between Antonio Minotauro Nogueira and Cain Velasquez.

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Both fighters are riding waves of success heading into this bought as the winner is expected to be named the No. 1 contender to the heavyweight championship. Nogueira enters the fight as a slight favorite with a money line of -120, while Velasquez is at -110 according to online sports book SBGGLOBAL. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this main event bout, which will take place from the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia on Saturday at 10PM ET on Pay-Per View.
Antonio Minotauro Nogueira (32-5-1):

Strengths: Nogueira is one of the world’s best jiu jitsu fighters. Nogueira practically invented his own brand of jiu jitsu, which he passes on to many other today. Nogueria is also known for his ability to take a tremendous amount of punishment without quitting. He has been able to overcome a lot of adversity in the ring and the octagon and that helps in these big-fight situations.

Weaknesses: Nogueira’s biggest weakness would have to be his striking, but he showed great improvement in that area in his UFC 102 win over Randy Couture. Nogueira will need to have crisp striking in this fight, as Velasquez will probably feel he is the better fighter on their feet.

Last Five Fights:

Unanimous decision win over Randy Couture at UFC 102 on Aug. 29, 2009

Second round TKO loss to Frank Mir at UFC 92 on Dec. 27, 2008

Third round submission win over Tim Sylvia at UFC 81 on Feb. 2, 2008

Unanimous decision win over Heath Herring at UFC 73 on July 7, 2007

Unanimous decision win over Josh Barnett at Pride: Shockwave 2006 on Dec. 31, 2006
 
Cain Velasquez (7-0):
Strengths
: Velasquez has utilized his strong wrestling ability with frantic ground-and-pound to remain undefeated in MMA. A two-time All American wrestler at Arizona State, Velasquez has transferred his wrestling success to the octagon, where he has been able to control fights on the ground. Velasquez is persistent with his striking on the ground and is always looking to stop fights, not just out-point his opponent. He has also shown that he can take a punch and not let it affect his gameplan.
Weaknesses: Velasquez’ weakness in this fight could be that his strengths play into what Nogueira is looking for. Velasquez is a wrestler that wants to score takedowns, but Nogueira is great off his back and can easily lock in submissions from there. Velasquez will need to show great submission defense as he has never fought someone to the caliber of Nogueira in terms of jiu-jitsu skills. Velasquez will have to be improved on his feet in this fight and show good kickboxing skills in order to get the fight in his favor.
Last Five Fights:
Second round TKO win over Ben Rothwell at UFC 104 on Oct. 24, 2009

Unanimous decision win over Cheick Kongo at UFC 99 on June 13, 2009

Second round TKO win over Denis Stojnic at UFC Fight Night 17 on Feb. 7, 2009

First round TKO win over Jake O’Brien at UFC Fight Night 14 on July 19, 2008

First round TKO win over Brad Morris at UFC 83 on April 19, 2008
 
Who will win: Again, this fight doesn’t seem to play into Velasquez’ favor. Sure he can get takedowns and be on top, but Nogueira only needs one mistake to end this fight with a submission. Velasquez isn’t skilled enough on his feet to knockout Nogueira and he doesn’t have the big-fight experience that the former interim champion has. Look for Nogueira to win by submission in the later rounds or by decision.

Bet UFC 110
Posted: 2/18/10 8:18PM ET

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