UFC Fight Night 39 fight card previews stream for 'Nogueira vs Nelson' in Abu Dhabi on Fight Pass

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to United Arab Emirates this Friday afternoon (April 11, 2014) with UFC Fight Night 39, airing live at 2 p.m. ET on Fight Pass online digital network from du Arena in Abu Dhabi. The main event showcases Top 15-ranked Heavyweight veterans Roy Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. “Big Country” has dropped two straight bouts to Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic, while “Big Nog” was most recently finished by Fabricio Werdum to lose two out of three. With losses mounting, both veterans need a statement victory to regain their lost momentum. The co-main event also has pivotal implications when No. 9-ranked Featherweight Clay Guida goes to war with No. 12-ranked Tatsuya Kawajiri, who recently made a successful Octagon debut by defeating Sean Soriano at UFC Fight Night 34. “Crusher” will meet quite the step up in competition against “Carpenter,” who has his back against the wall after losing three out of four. Other main action includes a Welterweight showdown between John Howard and undefeated prospect Ryan LaFlare and a Lightweight show opener between The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 13 runner up Ramsey Nijem against undefeated challenger Beneil Dariush, who won his first Octagon bout by submitting Charlie Brenneman at UFC Fight Night 35. Keep your eyes peeled to MMAMania.com for a steady stream of UFC Fight Night 39 previews, predictions, videos and more below!

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Minotauro Nogueira, UFN 39's 'Fighter To Watch'

In the main event of UFC Fight Night 39 later today (Fri., April 12, 2014) from du Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, a mixed martial arts (MMA) legend, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, will look to remain relevant when he headlines the second venture for the world's leading promotion into the Middle East. "Big Nog" will look to bounce back from his submission loss to Fabricio Werdum when he takes on Roy "Big Country" Nelson in the Fight Pass main event.

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UFN 39: Nogueira vs. Nelson Final Video Preview

The main event of today's (Fri., April 11, 2014) UFC Fight Night 39: "Nogueira vs. Nelson" event on UFC Fight Pass in Abu Dhabi will feature Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira returning to the cage for the first time in 10 months to battle struggling head basher Roy Nelson, who has lost two fights in a row. One more and he might be out!

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UFN 39 'FoTN' Early Pick: Guida Vs. Kawajiri

Two featherweights who have been around the mixed martial arts (MMA) block, Clay Guida and Tatsuya Kawajiri, will collide in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 39, which takes place later this afternoon (Fri., April 11, 2014) from du Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. And it's going to be a good fight.

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'Big' Preview! 'Country' Faces 'Nog' In Abu Dhabi

Reeling heavyweights Roy Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will fight for their last shred of relevancy in the main event of UFC Fight Night 39 this Friday (April 11, 2014) from Abu Dhabi. How can Nelson and Nogueira right the ship with a quality win? Read our fight preview to find out!

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Preview! 'Carpenter' Looks To 'Crush' Kawajiri

This Friday (April 11, 2014) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweights Clay Guida and Tatsuya Kawajiri will battle in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 39, airing live on Fight Pass from du Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The bout presents a pivotal opportunity for each Top 15-ranked fighter to gain positioning in the tough UFC 145-pound arena.

A gritty veteran of mixed martial arts (MMA), No. 9-ranked Guida has seen better days in his nearly 11-year fight career. Last seen suffering his first-ever TKO loss at the hands of No. 1-ranked Chad Mendes at UFC 164, "Carpenter" has now dropped three out of his past four bouts. He badly needs a win to stay relevant.

Kawajiri, on the other hand, most recently made his first UFC appearance with a submission win over young prospect Sean Soriano at January's UFC Fight Night 34, his sixth straight victory in a row. A longtime staple in Japanese MMA, the No. 12-ranked "Crusher" is looking to establish himself as a new player in the Octagon.

He'll have to beat a fighter who undoubtedly has his back against the wall in Guida, making this fight a potentially exciting war. Let's take a look at the keys to victory for Guida vs. Kawajiri:

*****

Clay Guida

Record: 30-14 overall, 10-8 UFC

Key Wins: Anthony Pettis (TUF 13 Finale), Nate Diaz (UFC 94), Josh Thomson (Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Gracie)

Key Losses: Chad Mendes (UFC 164), Benson Henderson (UFC on FOX 1), Gray Maynard (UFC on FX 4), Gilbert Melendez (Strikeforce: Revenge)

*****

Tatsuya Kawajiri

Record: 33-7-2 overall, 1-0 UFC

Key Wins: Josh Thomson (Dynamite! 2010), Sean Soriano (UFC Fight Night 34)

Key Losses: Gilbert Melendez (Pride Shockwave 2006, Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley), Eddie Alvarez (DREAM 5), Shinya Aoki (DREAM 15)

*****

Both fighters tend to maintain a high pace in their fights, so each and every edge will be crucial to victory here.

When the fight starts out on the feet, Kawajiri holds the edge in power. He has 12 knockouts to Guida's four, but "Carpenter" is notoriously tough to finish with strikes. The speed advantage should go to Guida here, so if he can move in and out of the pocket and nail Kawajiri with a high volume of significant strikes, he'll earn the favor of the judges.

Guida has 15 submission victories on his record, and Kawajiri has tapped out three times. If Guida can use his hard-nosed wrestling style to drag this fight to the mat and gain an advantageous position, he may be able to secure a fight-ending choke.

However, Kawajiri is no slouch in the wrestling department himself, and he also has 10 submissions of his own. Guida has lost six bouts by submission, so "Crusher" will also be looking to win scrambles and find a way to get top position on the ground. That makes this a chess match of sorts if and when the fight hits the mat.

Both Guida and Kawajiri have to make a statement in Abu Dhabi, although it's for completely different reasons. Guida has been faltering recently, and while his past exploits will probably save his job with a loss, that can't be counted upon on today's UFC. Kawajiri, on the other hand, is simply looking to establish himself as a force to be reckoned with in the Octagon.

Those dynamics make this a fight that should come down to the wire.

Clay Guida undoubtedly deserves his reputation for putting on some of the most exciting fights in UFC, but he hasn't exactly lived up to that billing as of late. After losing to Gilbert Melendez in Strikeforce, Tatsuya Kawajiri has looked nigh unstoppable, albeit against lesser competition.

I expect this bout to be a back-and-forth match with each fighter having his moments. It's tough to predict a finish from either side given the talent, toughness, and experience of each competitor. I give Guida the edge in speed, but it may be tough for him to fight his usual all-out style given his recent track record. "Crusher" has momentum on his side; a slight edge that I think will propel him to victory.

Final Prediction: Kawajiri def. Guida via split decision

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UFN 39 'Prelims' Preview And Predictions Pt. 2

More free UFC fights are coming to Fight Pass online digital network this weekend (Fri., April 11, 2014) when UFC Fight Night 39: "Nogueira vs. Nelson" mixed martial arts (MMA) event kicks off from Du Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. MMAmania.com's Patrick Stumberg continues the UFC Fight Night 39 "Prelims" party with the second (and final) installment of a two-part under card preview series.

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Preview! 'Doomsday' Faces Undefeated LaFlare

This Friday (April 11, 2014) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweights John Howard and Ryan LaFlare will throw down on the main card of UFC Fight Night 39, airing live on Fight Pass from du Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Howard recently made his way back to the welterweight division, scoring a solid decision win over knockout striker Siyar Bahadurzada at UFC 168. Prior to that, "Doomsday" won a split decision over touted The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) prospect Uriah Hall at UFC Fight Night 26. All told, Howard has won eight of his last nine fights and could be knocking on the door of a Top 15 ranking spot.

He'll have to get by the promising LaFlare first, who brings an undefeated 10-0 mixed martial arts (MMA) record to Abu Dhabi. LaFlare has been busy lately, knocking off gritty veteran Court McGee with a decision at UFC on FOX 9. He did the same to Santiago Ponzinibbio and Ben Alloway in his previous two Octagon bouts to sit at 3-0 in the Octagon throughout 2013.

Running his UFC record to 4-0 will undoubtedly get LaFlare some much-needed publicity, but he'll face his toughest challenge to get there. Let's take a look at the keys to victory for Howard vs. LaFlare:

*****

John Howard

Record: 22-8 overall, 6-3 UFC

Key Wins: Siyar Bahadurzada (UFC 168), Uriah Hall (UFC Fight Night 26), Charlie Brenneman (Ring of Combat 21)

Key Losses: Jake Ellenberger (UFC on Versus 2), Thiago Alves (UFC 124), Matt Brown (UFC on Versus 4)

*****

Ryan LaFlare

Record: 10-0 overall, 3-0 UFC

Key Wins: Court McGee (UFC on FOX 9), Santiago Ponzinibbio (UFC Fight Night 32), Ben Alloway (UFC on Fuel TV 6)

Key Losses: None

*****

Howard is a well rounded and experienced fighter who has 15 finishes in 22 total career wins. However, LaFlare has never even been defeated, making this fight a very compromising proposition for Howard. He won't gain that much with a win over a talented yet largely unknown opponent, but a loss will certainly send him plummeting in what may be the most stacked division in all of MMA.

To avoid that, Howard has to keep his aggression level high to get inside LaFlare's superior reach, mixing up his game with some takedown attempts to keep his opponent guessing.

They won't be easy to secure in Abu Dhabi, as LaFlare is a former state champion wrestler who has seamlessly transitioned into MMA. He's also shown a diverse arsenal of methods to dispatch his opponents, but you can tell the competition in UFC is catching up to him. He's won all of his Octagon bouts by way of decision and could badly use a stoppage to get his hype train rolling even faster.

LaFlare will look to use his length to keep the powerful "Doomsday" at range. The Long Island-born fighter has shown rapidly improving striking, and his dangerous armbar has lead to three victories. If he can get past a solid veteran like Howard, big things could be on the horizon for LaFlare.

Ryan LaFlare will put his undefeated record on the line against a much more experienced opponent in John Howard. Despite Howard's recent successes since making his way back to UFC, he has failed against most of the top-level competition he's faced in the past.

Although LaFlare isn't up to those standards quite yet, he definitely has the talent to get there in the near future. Howard is extremely tough to put away, but he can be outpointed. That's how I see this bout unfolding in Abu Dhabi.

Final Prediction: LaFlare def. Howard via unanimous decision

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UFN 39 'Prelims' Preview And Predictions Pt. 1

More free UFC fights are coming to Fight Pass online digital network this weekend (Fri., April 11, 2014) when UFC Fight Night 39: "Nogueira vs. Nelson" mixed martial arts (MMA) event kicks off from Du Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. MMAmania.com's Patrick Stumberg kicks off the UFC Fight Night 39 "Prelims" party with part one of a two-part under card preview series.

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Preview! Five Burning Questions For Abu Dhabi

Before every fight card, mixed martial arts (MMA) fans toggle between possible scenarios and what to expect days before it all unfolds in front of their eyes. Probable outcomes, distinguishable facts and head-scratching theories are all part of the mystique that surrounds the fights on any given night. We ask ourselves the same questions … and try to uncover different answers.

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Preview! Nijem Wages War With Undefeated Dariush

This Friday (April 11, 2014) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweights Ramsey Nijem and Beneil Dariush will face off on the main card of UFC Fight Night 39, airing live on Fight Pass from du Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 13 finalist Nijem has seen mixed results during his stint with UFC. He was most recently seen defeating former welterweight Justin Edwards via unanimous decision at January's UFC Fight Night 35. Prior to that, however, he was submitted by James Vick and knocked out by Myles Jury. Nijem will have his hands full in an attempt to avoid losing three out of four.

Undefeated in mixed martial arts (MMA) at 7-0, Dariush made his Octagon debut earlier this year by submitting Charlie Brenneman at UFC Fight Night 35. The first round victory put the previously under-the-radar Dariush on the map, and he'll look to continue that momentum in Abu Dhabi.

Let's take a look at the keys to victory for Nijem vs. Dariush:

*****

Ramsey Nijem

Record: 8-4 overall, 4-3 UFC

Key Wins: Justin Edwards (UFC Fight Night 35), Joe Proctor (UFC on FOX 5)

Key Losses: Myles Jury (UFC on FOX 7), James Vick (UFC Fight Night 26), Tony Ferguson (TUF 13 Finale)

*****

Beneil Dariush

Record: 7-0 overall, 1-0 UFC

Key Wins: Charlie Brenneman (UFC Fight Night 35)

Key Losses: None

*****

With two knockouts, two submissions, and four decision wins on his record, Nijem is a well-rounded fighter with a strong overall skillset rooted in his wrestling base.

However, he's shown a degree of inconsistency as of late, something that he's going to have to correct if he wants to get past a tough competitor like Dariush. Nijem is facing a proven finisher, so he has to be extremely careful. Implementing a wrestling-heavy gameplan to grind out a decision win may be his best path to victory in Abu Dhabi.

Dariush, on the other hand, can make a big statement by destroying Nijem. With five finishes in seven total bouts, you can bet Dariush will be looking to gain some followers with an explosive performance. Nijem has been finished in all four of his losses, so there's definitely a distinct possibility to gain another stoppage this Friday.

Expect Dariush to come out strong and push the pace, softening up Nijem with strikes to look for a submission on the ground.

Ramsey Nijem showed a ton of potential on TUF, but he's failed to live up to that at this point in time. While he has the skills and training to hand Dariush his first loss, the fact that he's so easily finished does not bode well for him.

Dariush is a killer who could become a force at 155 pounds. Even though he's hardly well known right now, overall I think he's far superior to Nijem. Look for Dariush to come out with a vengeance and outclass Nijem everywhere this fight goes.

Final Prediction: Dariush def. Nijem via submission

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