UFC 166 Preview: Daniel Cormier vs. Roy Nelson
UFC 166 is just days away and will
feature heavyweight fights including a champion Cain Velasquez taking
on number one contender Junior dos Santos and a showdown between
undefeated Daniel Cormier and “Big Country” Roy Nelson.
In a fight between two giants, Cormier
and Nelson provide a great chance for fight fans to experience some
real mixed martial arts action.
Daniel Cormier is an Olympic level
wrestler who has an ability to take opponents down and grind out a
win. However, with 5 of his career wins coming by knockout, it would
be unfair to assume that Cormier intends on attempting to take Nelson
down and wait out the 15 minute three round fight.
Cormier has world class wins over some
MMA and UFC veterans and legends including decisions against Josh
Barnett and Frank Mir. He win via knockout against Antonio Silva and
won a decision over Jeff Monson.
Roy Nelson is looking to get his career
back on track after a unanimous decision loss to Stipe Miocic at UFC
161. Nelson brings a world class grappling game to the table and has
spent a lot of time working on his stand-up game with three first
round knockout wins against Cheick Kongo, Matt Mitrione, and Dave
Herman. A win in this fight will propel him up in the standings and
allow his to begin making an argument for a title shot after this
weekend’s conclusion to the Velasquez/dos Santos trilogy.
Roy Nelson is known for having a great
chin. In his war with Junior dos Santos at UFC 117, Nelson was
pummeled by the former champion for three rounds before losing an
unanimous decision. After the fight, dos Santos said “it was
unbelievable” about Nelson’s ability to weather the storm.
One interesting twist to this fight is
that Cormier has announced that he intends to drop to the
light-heavyweight 205 lbs after this fight, win or lose, in order to
avoid fighting his training partner and teammate Cain Velasquez.
Cormier has made his way to the top of the ladder with his undefeated
streak, listed by the promotion as the number 2 contender, likely
would have gotten a shot at the title if he won the bout Saturday.
Expect to see this fight stay on the
feet for some time before Cormier decides to attempt to take it to
the ground. Nelson has won some impressive submission grappling
tournaments against some high caliber opponents and is always a
threat from his back. However, after a win over Frank Mir, he will
justifiably have confidence about his ability to subdue the
submission game of Nelson, especially while he is on his back.