Roy Nelson KO’s Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in UFC Abu Dhabi main event
He’s nearing 38 years old, but Roy Nelson’s power has shown no signs of fading. The heavyweight star came into his UFC Fight Night: Abu Dhabi main event against Antonio Rodrigo Nogeuira with knockouts in each of his last 10 wins, and after Friday, he can add to that number.
In a fantastic performance, Nelson dominated Nogueira on the feet and ended up finishing him with a scintillating, walkoff knockout at 3:37 of the first round before a sellout crowd of 8,000 at du Arena.
"Anytime you beat Big Nog, he’s a legend," Nelson said. "Thank you. If it wasn’t for him, we wouldnt be fighting in MMA. He’s the heavyweight."
It was the kind of finish that will no doubt be in the running for KO of the Year when 2014 closes out.
Nelson controlled the fight from start to finish. He wobbled Nogueira in the opening minute with an uppercut/overhand right combination, but instead of following Nogueira to the ground, he let him up and stalked him from the outside. A later right had Nogueira stumbling again, and finally, a heatseeking right landed flush, sending a stiff Nogueira crashing flat on his back in a scary scene.
That victory ended a short two-fight losing streak for Nelson (20-9), who wasted no time in saying he wanted to fight for the championship.
That doesn’t seem likely, but it may move him up few spots in the rankings from his current position at No. 9.
Meanwhile, the future is murky for Nogueira (34-9-1, 1 no contest), who has gone 3-5 in his last eight trips to the octagon. While Nogueira had never been finished in his first 37 pro fights, he’s been stopped in all five of defeats during his recent slide.