Hey fight fans. It’s TIME! Just, not the usual time…

UFC Fight Night 39: Nogueira vs. Nelson is on tap from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates today, with the prelims just minutes away.

So, in case you can’t make it to Abu Dhabi or enjoy the bouts on UFC Fight Pass, please join us for our coverage! Refresh this page often for the latest updates.

Preliminary card:

Bantamweights:    Rani Yahya     vs.     Johnny Bedford

TUF 14 veteran Bedford is a wrestling standout from Oregon. Brazil’s Yahya, of course, is one of the top BJJ specialists in MMA. This is Yahya’s return to bantam, after an up-and-down six-bout outing at feather.

Round One:  Inside leg kicks on a cautious advance from Yahya. Yahya shoots, and Bedford sprawls. They collide trying to get inside. A clash of heads staggers Yahya, who drops to his back. Bedford swinging, but the clash caused the damage. Ref steps in and calls it a KO, looks like he thought it was a Bedford uppercut.

The bout is declared a no-contest, at 0:39 of round one. Well, we’re off to a blazing start.

Rani Yahya and Johnny Bedford fight to a no-contest (accidental clash of heads) at 0:39 of the first round.

Bedford is interviewed, he feels it should be a TKO victory. Yahya says we can fight again and the two are separated.

Featherweights:     Alan Omer     vs.     Jim Alers

Omer is the first Kurdish fighter in the UFC; he was born in Iraq and raised in Germany. Alers is a Florida-based ex-wrestler. Both are making their debut.

Round One: Both guys bouncing in and out looking for punches to start. Omer with a weird lead right uppercut that lands clean. Good leg kick from Alers. Omer with a leg kick. Omer with an overhand right and leg kick. Alers with a 1-2 that glances and lands a knee in a brief clinch. Great 1-2 from Omer with the right staggering Alers. They clinch, and the action slows. Omer lands a few knees to the body which may have strayed low. They switch positions against the cage and finally break to take the center. Omer with the more effective combo’s as time expires. 10-9, Omer.

Round Two: Big right from Omer drops Alers to a knee! Alers tries to shoot a takedown but Omer rolls through and takes the top. Omer in Alers’ half guard, raining down strikes against the cage. Big rights and an uppercut as Alers tries to raise. Spinning back kick from Omer. Alers blasts Omer with a right, dropping him! Alers with body shots in Omer’s guard. This is quite a fight. Alers with punches to head and body. Omer fights to his feet, and they’re finally separated from a slow sequence in the clinch. Omer with a good straight right as time expires. Close, but I’ll go 10-9 Omer.

Round Three: Leg kicks from Omer. Alers with a takedown. Alers postures up for some good shots and there’s blood all over the mat, whoa. Alers looks to get a D’Arce choke and Omer scrambles to his feet. Alers with another takedown. Omer doesn’t seem to be bleeding now. Alers keeps chipping away with punches to head and body. Less than a minute left, the ref stands them up. Kicks to the body from Omer. Omer shoots a takedown and gets it, but time expires. 10-9 Alers, but this could easily go either way.

Official decision coming…

Jim Alers defeats Alan Omer by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).  I had it for Omer but no complaints; it all depends how you score that second round.

Middleweights:     Thales Leites     vs.     Trevor Smith

“Hot Sauce” Smith is a former D1 All-American wrestler from Vancouver, WA. Leites is a longtime middleweight fringe contender from Brazil. Both guys in their early 30’s, but it seems like Leites fought Anderson Silva to a lopsided decision a decade ago…

Round One: Big rights from Leites in a brief standup exchange. Smith down! Smith down! Leites pounces for more, and the ref steps in. Big, quick KO for Leites!

Thales Leites defeats Trevor Smith by TKO (punches) at 0:45 of round one.

Great quick promo from the headliners talking about how Abu Dhabi is a “motherland” for submission grappling.

Heavyweights:     Jared Rosholt     vs.     Daniel Omielańczuk

Rosholt is a 3x All American from Oklahoma State, and enters to the tune of “Lunatic Fringe” off the Vision Quest soundtrack. I’m a sucker for that song. Poland’s Daniel Omielańczuk is known for his Muay Thai and is on a twelve fight winning streak.

Round One: Omielańczuk, who I believe is the night’s first southpaw (!), with a nice leg kick.  Rosholt lands a good right hand.  Rosholt with a takedown. Omielańczuk holds him close in half guard, as Rosholt chips away with body punches. Omielańczuk with a few little elbows from bottom. Big punches to the head from Rosholt, who also tries to isolate Omielańczuk’s arm. Big elbow from the big Yank as time expires. 10-9, Rosholt.

Round Two: Omielańczuk lurches in with a front headlock. Nice body kick after they disengage. Rosholt with a takedown, advances to side control easily.  Omielańczuk re-positions half guard but looks tired. Nice elbow and right from Rosholt… just chipping away. Rosholt mixes in a knee to the body nicely, still on top. Rosholt passes to side control. Omielańczuk scrambles to his feet — or hands and knees — and gets a hard knee to the body.  Omielańczuk finally escapes to his feet, and hits a good straight left. Rosholt takes him down again. Time expires. 10-9, Rosholt.

Round Three: Good knee by Omielańczuk, but he’s taken down again. Rosholt advances to mount. Rosholt with knees to the body as Omielańczuk turtles up. Back in half guard, Rosholt with short elbows. Suffocating pressure continues from the Team Takedown member, ends up in side control with about 90 seconds yet. More little shots. 30 seconds left and Rosholt is looking for a north-south choke. Boo-birds are out as time grinds on, and finally expires. 10-9, Rosholt.

The scores aren’t read, for some reason, but the obvious winner is announced:

Jared Rosholt defeats Daniel Omielańczuk by unanimous decision.

Main Card:

Lightweights:     Ramsey Nijem     vs.     Beneil Dariush

Both guys are based in California but have ties to the Middle East. Beneil Dariush of Iran is undefeated in his young MMA career, and is a decorated BJJ competitor. He enters to Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You,” which you just have to love. Nijem, an American of Palestinian descent,  is a TUF 13 alum.

Round One: Dariush with a good straight left and a body kick. Nijem tosses him to the mat and hits a leg kick in what the PRIDEcast lads used to call the old “Ali/Inoki” position. Dariush closes in for knees to the body and backs Nijem to the cage. Nice elbow from Dariush. Big right from Nijem after they break. Dariush with a knee to the head but is decked with a left hook. Nijem with overpowering ground-and-pound. Elbows, and Nijem moves to mount, then back mount. More big punches, elbows to head and body! And ref steps in with 0:40 or so left.

Ramsey Nijem defeats Beneil Dariush by TKO (punches and elbows) at 4:20 of round one.

Welterweights:     John Howard     vs.     Ryan LaFlare

LaFlare is undefeated, but it’s still somewhat surprising what an underdog longtime division contender Howard is.

Round One: Southpaw LaFlare has a clear reach advantage. Nice body kick by LaFlare. Howard with a straight right to the body. LaFlare with a solid takedown. Howard in half guard, LaFlare quickly passes to side control, looks for a D’Arce. They disengage, tumble to the mat. Howard lands a right but LaFlare clinches again, driving Howard to the cage. LaFlare attacks with a guillotine. Good knee to the head in a standup exchange from LaFlare. Good leg kicks from Howard to finish, but it was clearly a LaFlare round. 10-9, LaFlare.

Round Two: Big left hook staggers LaFlare. Takedown from Howard. Light ground-and-pound from Howard. LaFlare with a nice sweep. Howard elevates him — and they scramble to their feet. Clinch against the cage, LaFlare with a knee that landed low. Ref halts the action — Howard is rolling on the mat in pain. Howard takes almost the full five minutes. On the restart, LaFlare with a takedown right into side control. They scramble to their feet again and exchange leg kicks. Howard forces LaFlare to the fence but they reverse positions there, back and forth. Howard’s knees to the legs, then a nice uppercut and left hook combo. Time expires. 10-9, Howard.

 Round Three: Inside leg kick from Howard. Nice takedown from LaFlare, who presses Howard against the cage. Howard elevates LaFlare with his legs and scrambles away. Big left hook from Howard. LaFlare with another takedown. LaFlare passes Howard’s butterfly guard and lands punches as Howard tries to turtle. Howard looking for a kneebar. LaFlare escapes, lands on top for some more shots. Howard trying to roll LaFlare off as time expires. I’m calling the round, and the fight, even. 10-10.

Howard wincing and holding his groin as the decision is announced. Ouch.

Again, no scores announced, but the winner…

Ryan LaFlare defeats John Howard by unanimous decision.    

Featherweights:     Clay Guida     vs.     Tatsuya Kawajiri

Round One: Overhand right from Guida. Spinning backfist from Kawajiri. Big right floors Kawajiri. Guida pounces on his back, but fails to sink a choke. Guida clinches him to the fence. Kawajiri rolls for a armlock, almost sinks an armbar as they tumble to the mat, but Guida slips away. Kawajiri looking for a Kimura a la Sakuraba vs. Renzo, but Guida keeps control and slams Kawajiri to the mat. Back up, Guida lands a right but Kawajiri with a takedown. Guida looking for a Kimura from half guard. Kawajiri advances to mount — and they’re rolling about as time expires. Great round. 10-9 Guida.

Round Two: Slower pace now, as they exchange in center cage. Guida gets a takedown and Kawajiri looking for his Kimura. Kawajiri scrambles up, lands an elbow in an exchange. Big takedown from Guida. Kawajiri again looking for Kimura. Wash, rinse, repeat. Nice knee to the body by Guida to a downed Kawajiri. Kawajiri back up, is backed to the cage, but lifts Guida a la a pro wrestling “pile driver.” Guida rolls him into a takedown. Kawajiri looking for a reverse triangle.  They scramble back up and Kawajiri again looking for the Kimura. Time expires. 10-9, Guida.

Round Three: Good right from Guida. Left hook from Guida. Kawajiri misses a spinning back fist. Guida sprawls out of a takedown. Wild overhand from Kawajiri, and Guida takes his back standing. Kawajiri looking for that Kimura again, now forced against the fence. Big slam takedown from Guida. Kawajiri fails with a guillotine attempt. Beautiful guard pass from Guida. Knee to the body as Kawajiri turtles. 10-9, Guida.

Clay Guida defeats Tatsuya Kawajiri by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

Heavyweights:     Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira     vs.     Roy Nelson

Round One: Nogueira advancing cautiously, lands a right. Nelson lands a big uppercut to stagger Nogueira.  Nelson swings him to the mat but Nogueira back up, lands a jab. Noguiera looking a little unsteady. Nelson looking patient as he becomes the stalker. Glancing 1-2 from Nelson lands. Noguiera trying to re-establish the jab. Nelson with a big right and Noguiera is shaken again. 2-3 combo from Nelson. Noguiera on rubber legs. Big overhand ends it — a walk off KO for Nelson.

Roy Nelson defeats Rodrigo Nogueira by KO (punch) at 3:37 of round one.

Thank you for joining us. We’ll see you next time!!!