Cleat Geeks

UFC Fight Night Japan: Main Event



FightNightJapanPosterUFC Japan’s main event is an MMA fans dream come true in the heavyweight division. Josh “The Warmaster” Barnett will stand across from Roy “Big Country” Nelson in a huge contender match-up. Nelson’s recent slide has him ranked just outside the top ten (11th ranked fighter), but Barnett has maintained an impressive #8 ranking at the age of 37. “The Warmaster” was once the UFC’s heavyweight champion, all the way back in 2002, but was stripped of the title after testing positive for anabolic steroids. He not only wants to reclaim that belt, but he wants to make an example out of the oddity that is Roy Nelson.

Roy-Nelson-UFC-146-weigh-750Roy “Big Country” Nelson is just that; country. He shies away from the prototypical fighter physique. If you have never seen Roy Nelson, just look for the fighter with the large belly, and the mullet. Despite his peculiar appearance, Roy is one hell of a fighter. He showed his wrestling and grappling prowess when he won the 10th season of The Ultimate Fighter. Even though he was destroying fighters on the mat, he soon would become one of the most devastating strikers in the division. All seven of Nelson’s UFC wins have come by KO/TKO. The only issue, is that fighters have learned to stay away from the over-hand right, and pick Roy apart on the feet. He has really struggled with technical fighters. Mark Hunt was the only one to KO Nelson, but all of his other losses were very one-sided. Alistair Overeem, Stipe Miocic, Daniel Cormier, Junior Dos Santos, Frank Mir, and UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum have all shown how tough Roy’s chin was as they all landed heavy strikes on their way to decision victories.

josh-barnett-ufc-168-weigh-750Josh Barnett has quite the trophy case when it comes to MMA wins. Pedro Rizzo, Frank Mir, Brett Rogers, Mark Hunt, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Aleksander Emelianenko, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Dan Severn, Gan McGee, and Randy Couture are some of the most recognizable heavyweights to ever grace a cage or ring. All of the aforementioned fighters have fallen to “The Warmaster”. He will have to rebound from a one-minute KO loss to Travis Browne if he hopes to lower that heavyweight fighter ranking. This loss was brutal, as Josh went for a take-down, but left the side of his head exposed. Browne landed repeated elbow blows knocking Barnett out cold.

josh-barnett-roy-nelson-ufc-fight-night-75Both of these fighters are in similar positions in their careers, which is why this main event makes perfect sense. Both guys are a little past their prime, have very impressive past victories, and can end a fight in the blink of an eye. Even though Roy Nelson has been picked apart and timed in his last few fights, I think he is the better current fighter. A lot of “experts” will disagree, but my bet would go to Nelson to win by KO or submission. If Barnett has a chance to win, it would be in a lengthy, outdrawn decision, and I can’t believe Roy would allow that to happen to him again. Nelson should be able to wear the older fighter down, taking the victory around the end of the third round. Remember that this main event will go five rounds. The heavyweights normally don’t allow it to go that long, and I have faith that these guys will be out for blood when the UFC returns to Japan.

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