UFC 153: October 13, 2012 HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil UFC Heavyweight Contender Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (-260) Profile: One of the most legendary heavyweights known in MMA, Antonio “Big Nog” Nogueira (33-7-1, 1 No-Contest) has been everywhere and seen it all. The 36-year-old Brazilian participated in a fabled RINGS: King of Kings tournament, and he was the face of and dominant heavyweight of Pride until he was defeated by a formerly little-known fighter out of Russian named Fedor Emelianenko. Nogueira’s UFC tenure has been up and down with a 4-3 record, including two brutal losses to Frank Mir, one of which he is just returning from after having his arm snapped. But he has also held the UFC interim heavyweight title and remains one of the most beloved faces in the history of MMA. Nogueira presents danger for his opponents not only on the feet but especially on the mat with his BJJ. He is no spring chicken though and will be relying on his heart and the love of the sport he holds dear to help him continue his career. UFC Heavyweight Contender Dave Herman (+200) Profile: Dave Herman (21-4) put together an exciting beginning to his MMA career with 15 straight wins – all by stoppage. In fact, his first 11 wins did not even extend past the first round. Herman finally saw his winning streak come to an end in falling to Choi Mu-Bae at World Victory Road, but he was able to string together a few more wins in Japan and in Bellator until the UFC snatched him up for their roster. The 28-year-old journeyman has gone 1-2 so far in the organization, with a strong win over John-Olav Einemo at UFC 131 before losing two straight via spectacular finishes to Stefan Struve and Roy Nelson. Herman had Struve against the cage, seemingly done, until the 6-11 “Skyscraper” knocked him out in the second round. At UFC 146, Roy Nelson unleashed a brutal right overhand, knocking him out again in less than a minute. Now Herman looks to rebound and validate himself against a living legend in Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Opening UFC 153 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas has made Nogueira a moderate -260 favorite (bet $260 to win $100) against Herman, who opened as a +200 underdog (bet $100 to win $200) according to the MMA odds. Nogueira has been out of commission for nearly a year since Mir broke his arm, as it will a little more than 10 months before he enters the Octagon again. Some may wonder what he needs to prove at this point of his illustrious career, but Nog surely wants to go out on his own terms and show he can still compete at this level in the UFC. Herman is far from an elite opponent and should give him the opportunity to get back on track. Assuming he beats Herman, the question then becomes, where does he go from there? There is a possibility that Nogueira could be rusty, but he has only been stopped three times in 42 career fights. Meanwhile, Herman has seen just one of his 25 bouts go to the judges, so he will be looking to somehow catch Nogueira and possibly end his career. The odds are against that happening, especially after watching Herman’s last performance against Nelson.
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