UFC Fight Night 39 results recap: Biggest winners, losers from 'Nogueira vs. Nelson' Fight Pass event in Abu Dhabi


MMAmania.com runs down the list of "Who's Hot" and "Who's Not" from UFC Fight Night 39 yesterday (Fri., April 11, 2014), nominating the biggest winners and losers from the "Nogueira vs. Nelson" MMA event that aired on UFC "Fight Pass" online from Du Arena, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

That one stung a bit.

UFC Fight Night 39: "Nogueira vs. Nelson" took place this past Friday (April 11, 2014) at Du Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and observers may have witnessed the last fight for one of the sport's most beloved and talented fighters.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was knocked out cold with a devastating right hand from Roy Nelson, who polished off the legend in the first round of their main event showdown.

"Big Country" dominated the Brazilian for the entire fight and dropped him three times, snapping a two-fight losing streak and notching a "Performance of the Night" bonus in the process.

The co-main event began as a furious scrap, but Clay Guida opted to outmuscle Tatsuya Kawajiri by using his superior wrestling skills en route to a unanimous decision victory.

"The Carpenter" may have regained momentum in his career, doing his part to excite the Abu Dhabi crowd throughout the bout. He also avoids a bad situation, since he improves to 2-3 in his last five fights.

With that said, it's time to name the biggest winner and biggest loser (and their runner ups) from the event in Abu Dhabi.

Here we go:

Biggest Winner -- Roy Nelson

Time and time again, Nelson completely steals the show on a fight card filled with up, downs, and no attention-grabbing moment by channeling a Mack Truck at full speed through his right hand.

Even referee Leon Roberts looked at him in amazement seconds before raising his hand.

After accomplishing an impressive feat in the main event by brutally finishing one of the best heavyweight fighters of all time, the legroom has to be cleared up for "Big Country," because he's here to stay.

He's uniquely marketable in only a way hardcore followers could understand, and know matter how much UFC President Dana White loathes to see him, he's becoming quite the attraction in the heavyweight division.

Still, he could use a little fine tuning in the cardio department. Not because this is a way to pick on his physique, but sometimes when the fight hits the second round, he completely runs out of gas.

Considering Nelson has already fought three quarters of the current division since winning The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 10, the string of high-profile fights will continue.

And when those scraps do come, it'll be just another day at the office for the bearded brute.

Runner Up -- Clay Guida

Almost everybody had given up on Guida.

The excitement in his game was gone, he had not shown any indications of contending for a title in his eighth year under contract, and being 1-3 in his past four bouts was not helping his cause.

In the first round against Tatsuya Kawajiri, "The Carpenter" was on his way to proving us wrong, dropping his Japanese counterpart and if it was any other referee besides Marc Goddard, the Illinois-born fighter could have scored his first stoppage due to strikes since 2008.

As the fight progressed, the "Lebowski addict" did not necessarily play it safe, but implemented a grappling-based game plan, which was still entertaining. To his credit, he tried to submit "Crusher" a few times, so it didn't exactly look like his borefest against Anthony Pettis a while back.

It may not look pretty at times, but "The Carpenter" can still build a home in the promotion. If he wins in this type of fashion, he won't have to relocate any time soon.

Plus, who else can get away with calling Conor McGregor a leprechaun?

Biggest Loser -- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

Where to begin...

For starters, it was very depressing.

After Nelson dropped the legend twice and Nogueira wobbled around with his hands down, there must have been a collective sigh shared by every supporter he's ever had -- which is everybody if you've followed this sport for over 10 years.

Seeing "Big Nog" crash down after a devastating blow should be the last form of punishment he should have to experience. It should go without saying how great he has been for so many years, hoisting the PRIDE and UFC heavyweight championships, which puts him in a class of his own. He's a storied combatant, loved in his native Brazil alongside his twin brother and we should leave his accomplishments at that.

There would be no point watching Nogueira compete again, trying to better a run where he's lost his last four fights by either knockout or submission and had his arm broken, too. It was shameful seeing him go out like that and he shouldn't have to fade away by being mangled for our enjoyment.

Let's turn the page and think about his glory days, instead.

Runner Up -- John Howard

The fight pitting John Howard against Ryan LaFlare on the main card was not going to be the fight of the year, but after one round, it was apparent we were in for a nasty scrap.

"Doomsday" was lighting up LaFlare on the feet, indicating he was clearly the better striker on the verge of hurting his opponent badly. The pace changed when LaFlare accidentally decked the Bostonian in the jewels in the second round and that's what killed Howard's momentum.

The poor guy took almost the entire five minutes, grimacing on the ground and even had a doctor come in to attend to him. He showed heart by continuing, but let's just say his balls-to-the-walls slugging style took a serious turn for the worse.

The New Yorker had better control on the mat until the final horn, as Howard just looked like he wanted to be anywhere else -- presumably backstage with a very cold icepack.

Quite a shameful end for "Doomsday" since the unfortunate occurrence snaps a four-fight winning streak in his second Octagon stint.

That's all, folks.

For more on UFC Fight Night 39: "Nelson vs. Nogueira," check out our results story stream here.

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