UFC Fight Night 39: Nogueira vs Nelson Early Predictions and Bets

The UFC’s next fight card will be live from Abu Dhabi on Friday, April 11 and the UFC will be looking to erase the memory of UFC 112 where Anderson Silva and Demian Maia fought an absolutely terrible fight in the main event with Maia falling down and trying to invite Silva into his guard and Silva refusing. At The Fight Predictor, we’ll be looking to improve on our impressive 25.47% ROI with all of our picks well documented in our Betting Track Record. In other big April news, EA Sports UFC should be coming out shortly and it looks absolutely sick!

In the main event, heavyweights Roy Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will do battle. Both men are veterans of the sport at 37 years old and with tons of battles behind them. Nelson’s career record sits at 19-9 with a 6-5 record in UFC competition while Nogueira’s career mark sits at 34-8 with a UFC record of 5-4. We already Tweeted out that we’re betting Nogueira at 2.55 to 1, and here’s why. Firstly, Nelson tends to be very very one dimensional. His overhand right has left a trail of devastation, but a vet like Nogueira should be able to avoid the strike. If not, he has only been knocked out twice in his career which speaks to his chin strength given the level of competition he faced first in Pride and now in UFC. Secondly, Nelson is willing to absorb a ton of strikes in order to land his one punch which he hopes will be a knockout blow. He lands 2.14 strikes per minute, but absorbs an amazing 5.07 which makes an absolutely dreadful ratio of almost 2:5. There is a good possibility that “Big Nog” can capitalize on the weak defense of Nelson by being evasive on the feet and connecting enough with his underrated striking game to take a decision. We bet 3 units on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at 2.55 as Tweeted last night.

In the co-main event, Clay Guida and Tatsuya Kawajiri will do battle in the featherweight division. Our model has Guida as a very small favourite to take the win, but even when he opened yesterday around 2.15, we didn’t feel comfortable placing a bet. Kawajiri looked solid in his UFC debut taking out the then 8-0 Sean Soriano via second round rear-naked choke. Kawajiri’s record sits at 33-7 with the majority of his losses coming to very high level competitors. The question is, is Clay Guida as good as some of the guys Kawajiri has lost to in the past? Or alternatively, can Clay Guida dart in and out against Kawajiri, landing enough damaging strikes to take a decision victory? With a 1-3 record in his last 4 and the only win coming as a split decision win over mid-level competitor Hatsu Hioki, the easy answer is “no”. Our model having Guida as the favourite gives us second thoughts about betting Kawajiri though. For now, we will hold off on betting this fight, but it is one we could reconsider if Kawajiri climbs significantly higher. The under could hold some value, we’d say this fight goes to decision about 75% of the time and the under sits at 1.41, but we’ll hold off on placing that bet for now as well.

In the other two bout odds that have been released, Howard vs LaFlare and Nijem vs Dariush, we lean the favourite, but don’t have enough statistical history to predict the outcome mathematically. In John Howard vs Ryan LaFlare, LaFlare seems to be getting to be too much of a favourite, but has won 3 straight in the UFC and sits at 10-0 overall, so he likely won’t be losing to the 22-8 John Howard. Nijem vs Dariush is pretty similar as it features a 7-0 youngster taking on a UFC vet in Nijem who could very well be on his way out. The line is probably about right however, with Dariush currently as the slight favourite. We do however lean towards the under 1.5 rounds which current sits at 2.50. Unfortunately, with lightweights fighting, it is too risky a bet for us to include in our picks.

Stay tuned as we bring you picks for the 4 events that will be coming in mid-April. Firstly, there’s UFC Fight Night 39, then the TUF Nations Finale: Bisping vs Kennedy on April 16, then the UFC on Fox 11: Werdum vs Browne card on April 19 and finally UFC 173: Jones vs Teixeira on April 26. Don’t forget to pre-order your copy of EA Sports UFC which should be coming out in late April/early May.


Nogueira over Nelson. 3 units at 2.55

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