The stakes were potentially very high last night (May 26, 2012) for both heavyweights Roy Nelson and Dave Herman on their UFC 146 main card bout in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Both men had been in the doghouse with Dana White, either for their dry sense of humor or with how the UFC president felt they were taking their careers seriously.
Herman entered the bout having been called "The white Jon Jones" by Nelson, based purely on his athleticism and potential.
So what does it mean now that "Big Country" has knocked him silly? And what's next for both intriguing heavyweight brawlers?
Follow me after the jump for our Roy Nelson vs. Dave Herman UFC 146 post-fight review and analysis.
There isn't much to break down in a 52 second fight, but Herman actually opened with a pretty smart gameplan, staying tall and keeping Nelson at bay with a series of heavy push kicks.
The problem was Herman's jab. "Pee-Wee" threw a pair of very soft left jabs, practically moving in slow motion and Nelson keyed on that, firing back with a big right hand to the body.
After another few push kicks, Herman threw one more lazy slow-motion jab and it would be his last as "Big Country" responded with his classic overhand right which caught him squarely on the jaw and spun him around like a top.
Herman crumpled into a heap and one more follow-up strike from Nelson was all it took as the fight was officially stopped.
For Dave Herman, I actually don't disagree with his initial gameplan of fighting tall and utilizing his length. Roy Nelson has a big body and that makes him an easy target for those push kicks. What I don't agree with is that lazy left jab which Nelson was able to easily time. You can't leave your left side of your face so exposed against Nelson, who's been spamming his overhand right ever since he signed up with the UFC. That's just asking for trouble, and he got it.
Herman may be given his walking papers after his second straight loss, but if not, he could find himself facing someone along the lines of Christian Morecraft, Shane del Rosario or perhaps a UFC newcomer.
For Roy Nelson, he definitely brought it. The crowd loved him, he needed a win and he delivered. Herman was firing off some nice push kicks but the second he left an opening by leaving his left hand extended for too long, "Big Country" timed it perfectly and went over the top with his go-to strike, clocking "Pee-Wee" and putting him down. There wasn't much to learn from this bout, but it was definitely a very exciting finish.
The most logical opponent for Nelson would be the upcoming winner of the Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Cheick Kongo fight. Other options include Mark Hunt or perhaps former title challenger Gabriel Gonzaga.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Was this Nelson's most impressive knockout yet thus far in his UFC career? Can Dave Herman ever live up to his potential, or has his time passed?
For complete UFC 146 results, including blow-by-blow, fight-by-fight coverage of the entire event as well as immediate post-fight reaction click here, here and here.