Roy “Big Country” Nelson (16-7-0) vs. Dave “Pee-Wee” Herman (21-3-0)
After multiple opponent changes, Roy Nelson is left to fight Dave Herman. Both fighters are coming off losses, with Nelson losing to Fabricio Werdum and Herman losing to Stefan Struve. Nelson recently flirted with the idea of moving down to the light-heavyweight division, but that was before he signed to fight at UFC 146. He needs a win here to justify not moving down to 205, but will have a tough time when it comes to fighting Herman.
Dave Herman is a strange fighter. From his chest hair and homemade scarves, to his complete disbelief in ground game. With this fight he should go nowhere near the ground. Herman needs to keep the fight standing, due to his reach and height advantage that will make him able to take the fight from Nelson. This strategy has been used by Frank Mir, Junior Dos Santos, and Fabricio Werdum to defeat Big Country.
Nelson on the other hand has the power to knockout, but does not have the ability to implement it on fighters who are battle proven. He knocked out Stefan Struve, Brendan Schaub, and Mirko Cro Cop, but they all had weak chins. Nelson has not used his ground game much since the days of The Ultimate Fighter where he was able to plaster people to the ground. Being 3-5 in his last eight fights, something needs to change for Nelson. He may need to revert to his ground game to start winning fights, even if it does not win fans.
The Bottom Line: Nelson will win this fight, but he is going to get punished along the way. After the second round Herman’s cardio will be shot, and he will be stopped in the third round by Nelson.