Roy Nelson is the definition of an enigma, at times showcasing bounteous talent only to look dreadfully average. Gifted with deceptive athleticism, solid core strength, and a big-time right hand and chin, on paper, Nelson should be a top heavyweight contender.
It's really just a matter of putting it all together.
Dave Herman, his opponent later this evening (May 26, 2012) at UFC 146 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, emerged on the scene last year with a gritty second-round stoppage of Jon Olav Einemo, only to gas and get taken out by Stefan Struve in his next bout. A smallish heavyweight in the 230 to 235-pound range, Herman has some unorthodox moves and tends to make an exciting fight.
When you're a heavyweight his size, that can be great for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fight fans, if not necessarily for you.
Follow me after the jump for a complete breakdown of the UFC 146 fight between Roy Nelson vs. Dave Herman:
As with every Nelson fight, his conditioning is at the top of the list here. Throw in his powerful right hand, and his motivation, and you get the sense that Nelson is due for a win here if he wants to stay relevant. He looked dreadful in his ho-hum decision losses to Frank Mir and Fabricio Werdum, and Herman is certainly the kind of undersized heavyweight he should be able to muscle around.
It's hard to see "Pee Wee" taking down the powerful Nelson, and even if he does, "Big Country's" excellent Brazilian jiu-jitsu will serve him well enough to negate Herman's attempt to pile up points and dominate the action. Nelson's simply too big and versatile, which makes it all the more frustrating when you see him gas out fights he should win easily. I seriously wonder if Nelson hasn't been afflicted by "Strikeritis," which is when a good wrestler starts fighting like a kickboxer for various reasons.
For this one, he doesn't have a lot to worry about, because he should be better than Herman standing or on the ground. However, with his conditioning issues, that advantage may only last so long.
Herman is still a Heavyweight, and big men can land fight-changing shots. However, Nelson has one of the best chins in the game and it's hard to see that happening. Nelson should be able to win the standing battle, and from there, that's when Herman's technique seems to erode, as it did against Struve and in his win over Einemo.
The real shame is that Nelson doesn't seem interested in taking people down enough, where his smothering girth and crushing top pressure would really run them out of gas, to say nothing of his ground and pound and nimble submission game. Nelson will be too big and too strong, but Herman is game enough, and it's a matter of Nelson's conditioning.
The prediction here is that Nelson scores big on the feet early, forcing Herman into a defensive shell, where he'll be worn down and taken out via submission in the third.
Nelson via submission
Be sure to join MMAmania.com this evening for LIVE, detailed UFC 146 results of all the "Dos Santos vs. Mir" pay-per-view (PPV) action. It will include blow-by-blow coverage of the Facebook video stream, FX "Prelims" bouts, and of course, the PPV broadcast. We'll start RIGHT HERE at around 7:00 p.m. ET and carry straight on through early Sunday morning.
See you later!
Jason Probst can be reached at twitter.com/jasonprobst or firstname.lastname@example.org.