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Posted on August 27, 2011 by John Petit

Breaking Down UFC 134: Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Brendan Schaub

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Heavyweight bout:
Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Brendan Schaub 

Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira
78% Fights Won*
42% Striking Accuracy*
34% Takedown Accuracy*

Odds: +205
Reach: 77 in
Record: 32-6-1 (1nc)
UFC Record: 3-2
Last 5: 3-2
Streak: -1

Brendan Schaub
80% Fights Won*
37% Striking Accuracy*
44% Takedown Accuracy*

Odds: -270
Reach: 79.5 in
Record: 8-1
UFC Record: 4-1
Last 5: 4-1
Streak: +4

*in UFC career

This is where you have to be careful about betting with your heart. It would overwhelm me with joy to see Big Nog win this fight on Saturday night, and the odds make it an interesting feel good bet. I think it may be wise to ignore those feelings. I grew up watching MMA, and watched Big Nog mess fighters up all over the planet, and its hard to watch a guy like him and not be rooting for him. If he could win this fight, in his home town of Rio, it would be a redefining moment of his career.

Brendan Schaub has a tough fight in front of him, but a winnable fight. Schaub was the runner up in the 10th season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” In the finals bout, Roy Nelson handed him his first loss and it was the first time he was ever knocked out. He was given a contract into the UFC, and has been on a four fight winning streak. He finished three of his four opponents, that included gutsy fights with Former UFC Heavyweight Championship contender Gabriel Gonzaga, and Pride legend Mirko Cro Cop. Granted they are both in the end of their careers, but they were both solid performances for Schaub. He defeated Gonzaga by decision, and Cro Cop by knock out in the third round.

Big Nog hasn’t been in the Octagon since UFC 110 in February of 2010, and since he has had knee surgery and hip surgery. In his last fight, he was finished for the second time in his long career by current UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez. His other loss in his last 5 was to Frank Mir for the UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship, and this sudden inability to stay awake in fights are wondering if Nog’s legendary chin is going away. He has a lot to prove in this fight, and he isn’t getting a softball fighter for his comeback fight so he is going to have to earn it.

I think speed is the key factor in this fight, and I see that going in the favor of Brendan Schaub. He has the ability and the endurance to jump in and out of the pocket with Nogueira, and land shots while moving side to side. Schaub has shown the ability to take solid punches, and recover from them. He has said in interviews he isn’t scared to go to the ground with Nogueira, and that would be a very dumb decision. Nogueira is on a different level on the ground, and he should reconsider that statement before fight night. I’m taking Schaub to win this one by TKO in the second.

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