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.


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