UFC 166: Roy Nelson vs Daniel Cormier breakdown

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Daniel Cormier

Another heavyweight fight rounds out the main card of UFC 166, this time featuring heavy hitting Roy Nelson and the Olympian and Strikeforce Grand Prix Champion Daniel Cormier. This bout is pivotal for multiple divisions as Cormier says win or lose he’s going down to light heavyweight and it seems as if Nelson is preparing to do the same as he’s lost massive amounts of weight. With a win over Cormier, Nelson could be a fight away from a shot at the 265lb belt and if Cain loses and Cormier wins, there could be a potential bout between Cormier and Dos Santos. So without further ado here is my breakdown and prediction.

Striking

Nelson is one of the heaviest if not the heaviest hitters in the Heavyweight division, and is known as one of the best brawlers to date. Along with his ability to give a bunch he is able to take one just as well. Thus his Chuck Liddellesque style becomes even more effective and is sure to cause Cormier some trouble.

Cormier relies on a boxing heavy style much like Nelson. He also owns five of his 12 wins by knockout along with two wins due to submission by strikes. His most notable knockout win came in the Strikeforce Heavyweight GP Semi-Final where he knocked out Big Foot Silva in the first round.

       Verdict: Edge Nelson.

Submissions

Nelson is a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under the great Renzo Gracie, as well as owning five of his 19 wins by way of submission. Though he hasn’t won by submission in his last few fights, Nelson has consistently brought the fight to the ground and smothered his opponent with let’s say his girth.

Cormier is well known for his fantastic wrestling as a former US Olympic Wrestling Captain. Though he does own one win by submission on his undefeated record, and that was a rear naked choke win. We also need to take note that Cormier was recently awarded his Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Leandro Vierra.

        Verdict: Edge Nelson.

Grappling

This is the toughest category to score as Nelson is a great grappler, and submission artist, but never seems to utilize it in his fights. Especially when being put up against an Olympic wrestler in Cormier, the odds of the fight hitting the ground with Nelson on top are very slim. But with that being said if it does hit the mat, Nelson will be sure to use his patented crucifix position to unload and smother Cormier.

Cormier is a fantastic wrestler, and seeing as he is now a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu so that makes his top control that much more dangerous. It’s great to see Cormier rounding out his ground game, now he really has the ability to finish the fight on the ground, but against a Black Belt like Nelson I don’t think he will.

       Verdict: Edge Cormier.

Prediction


I’m going with the under dog here and picking Roy Nelson. I think the fact that he has dropped some of that unnecessary weight will really pay dividends for Big Country. He’s going to be faster and able to keep up a grueling pace longer, which is something you definitely have to be able to do against Cormier. On top of all this he has the ability to end the fight with one big punch and I think that’s exactly how it is going to go down.

– Josh Leduc

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