Posted 06/04/2013 by admin in Untethered MMA

UFC on Fuel TV 10 Nogueira vs Werdum 2 Preview

By Mike Fagan, June 4th, 2013

Fabricio Werdum vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

-It’s been 6 years, 11 months, and 7 days since Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Fabricio Werdum first met at Pride Critical Countdown Absolute. At the time, Nogueira had just turned 31, was the former Pride heavyweight champion, and was coming off three relative cakewalk fights after Fedor Emelianenko debased him for a second time on New Year’s Eve 2004. Werdum was heading into his 29th birthday, and had had fewer than a dozen MMA fights in his career. Nogueira has gone 6-4 in the seven years since, including a win over Tim Sylvia for the half-legitimate UFC Interim Heavyweight title. Werdum is 8-3 between two stints in the UFC, a run in Strikeforce, and a one-off fight against Aleksander Emelianenko in the Netherlands. Those 8 wins include the first meaningful win over the non-Hepatitis Emelianenko in an MMA bout.

-Nogueira dominated the first bout. He dropped Werdum twice in the first round, and largely outstruck him with his fundamental boxing. Nogueira controlled the fight when it hit the floor as well, shutting down Werdum from top, and sweeping him twice off his back.

-Werdum looked awkward and uncomfortable throughout most of the bout, especially at distance. He threw wild, looping hooks, and moved straight back with his chin in the air when Nogueira pressed forward.

-It’s important to note Nogueira represented the biggest fight of Werdum’s career at the time. “Minotauro” already had two (and a half) fights against Fedor plus the classic with Mirko Cro Cop among the 32 professional bouts of his career. Werdum, to date, has only fought 22 times.

-The experience gap that gave Nogueira the edge in 2006 is now a detriment. Werdum and Nogueira are less than a year apart in age, but Werdum’s 22 pro bouts are just more than half of Nogueira’s 43 (which is a closer approximation of his age by looking at his catcher’s mitt mug). Werdum, at 35, still looks like a credible, elite-ish heavyweight. Nogueira, to put it nicely, has a lost a step, and to put it not so nicely, has gained zombie-quality. His movement is stiff and slow and deliberate. He’s still a worthy heavyweight, with recent finishes of mid-level (and much younger) names like Dave Herman and Brendan Schaub, but he’s going to run into trouble against more skilled and/or more athletic and/or bigger fighters.

-IMPORTANT FIGHTMETRIC STAT: Nogueira lands 1.85 strikes per minutes while absorbing 2.15. Werdum lands 2.77 strikes per minute while absorbing 1.86.

William Macario vs. Leonardo Santos

-Leonardo Santos steps in for the guy who beat him in the semifinals. I’d tell you this is the first time a guy who lost in the semis has a chance at winning an Ultimate Fighter*, but I haven’t watched a full season of this show since…jeez. I know I watched the Kimbo season. And I think a couple seasons after that, but I honestly can’t think of the coaching matchups. So, yeah.

* – It appears this happened with the last Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, too. So, there you go.

-The American audience will have no idea who these guys are, so here’s what you need to know. Leonardo Santos debuted in Shooto in 2002 against Takanori Gomi. William Macario is 6-0 in his pro career, and 6-0 against Brazilians. They are both Brazilian.

Rafael Cavalcante vs. Thiago Silva

-Thiago Silva fights in his fourth continent in four fights. He will try to avoid making this the third continent where he fails a drug test.

-Speaking of failed drug tests! It’s Rafael Cavalcante, who returns after more than year after failing a test for stanozolol in a win over Mike Kyle. Cavalcante and Silva head into the bout with a combined three no contests due to drugs, which is a stat you probably won’t hear on the UFC broadcast.

Daniel Sarafian vs. Eddie Mendez

-Eddie Mendez is one of two fighters on the main card without a Wikipeida page. He most recently defeated Fabio Nascimento, who is probably most well-known for being that guy Matt Lindland fought in Affliction who wasn’t Vitor Belfort knocking him into a coma.

-Sarafian is the biggest favorite on the card (thus far; books still only have lines up for five fights).

Erick Silva vs. Jason High

-Silva hasn’t fought since October, when Jon Fitch made a futile effort to give himself some job security with a dominant and entertaining win. That loss derailed a Silva hype train that had built up steam after three dominant performances in his first three UFC fights. Silva was originally scheduled to fight John Hathaway in a grotesque Hunger Games-style prospect eliminator. Hathaway had some nasty shit go down in his colon, and Jason High steps up from the prelims to take his spot.

-High is just happy to be fighting at this point. After eleven fights in three years, Strikeforce put him on ice for almost 10 months before matching him up with Nate Moore. It then took Zuffa nearly 11 months to get him this fight while passive-aggressively killing off Scott Coker’s baby (the UFC: BABY KILLERS).

-I don’t make a habit of following fighters on Twitter, but I do follow Jason High (@KCBanditMMA). Unlike most fighters, he comes off like a normal person.

Rony Jason vs. Mike Wilkinson

-Mike Wilkinson is the other guy on the main card without a Wikipedia page. This man ALREADY HAS A FIGHT IN THE UFC. Who is his management? What kind of world do we live in where a bona fide UFC fighter does not have a Wiki page, but two MMA media bozos (John Morgan and Dann Stupp) have glorified bios masquerading as encyclopedia entries? Albert Camus shakes his head.


Mike Fagan is a weekly contributor to MMA Owl. He also hosts Untethered MMA every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET at, which can be found as a podcast in the iTunes store.