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UFC FN 39: Nogueira vs. Nelson: Full card predictions

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UFC Fight Night 39 is this Friday, April 11 at the du Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Due to the time difference online prelims start at 11:50a.m., and the main card can also be seen on UFC Fight Pass at 2:00p.m. The main event will feature a Heavyweight matchup between Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira and Roy “Big Country” Nelson. Enjoy the predictions and UFC FN 39 fight card.

Online Prelims: 3-0-0

145 lbs. – Alan Omer (0-0 UFC) vs. Jim Alers (0-0 UFC) – Alers via decision
Omer has very aggressive striking with good power, but he can be sloppy at times and Alers has recently shown much improved technical boxing also with a lot of power. Both men are talented grapplers, but Alers is the stronger man and should enjoy plenty of top control as well as submission attempts. Correct plus method

185 lbs. – Thales Leites (7-3 UFC) vs. Trevor Smith (2-0 UFC) – Leites via submission
Smith is a big underdog in this fight and for good reason as Leites will have an enormous grappling advantage as well as likely being able to out strike Smith on the feet and on the ground. Correct (Leites via TKO)

135 lbs. – Rani Yahya (4-2 UFC) vs. Johnny Bedford (2-1 UFC) – Bedford via TKO
Yahya is making his Bantamweight debut and should struggle with the pace and striking of Bedford. Yahya will have a big grappling advantage, but Bedford has shown solid TDD and a great use of knees which will make Yahya hesitant. Expect Bedford’s striking to be the difference in this fight. No Contest

265 lbs. – Jared Rosholt (1-0 UFC) vs. Daniel Omielanczuk (1-0 UFC) – Rosholt via TKO
Rosholt will have a tremendous wrestling advantage in this fight and should find plenty of success if he pursues the takedown. Omielanczuk might have a slight striking advantage, but Rosholt has tons of power and won’t be intimidated so this is definitely Rosholt’s fight to lose. Correct (Rosholt via decision)

Main Card: 3-1-0 Total MMA Predictions: 473-266-3 = 64%

155 lbs. – Ramsey Nijem (4-3 UFC) vs. Beneil Dariush (1-0 UFC) - Dariush via submission
Nijem bounced back from 2 straight losses and won a unanimous decision over Justin Edwards in his last fight. Dariush made his UFC debut back in January and submitted Charlie Brenneman in the 1st round. On the feet Dariush should have a slight advantage as he’s shown good technique and power while Nijem has been KO’d twice in his UFC career, but Nijem’s aggressive style could cause Dariush problems. Nijem should have the wrestling advantage, but Dariush has serious BJJ credentials and the submission skills to tap out Nijem if the fight stays on the ground. Nijem will make this a fight, but Dariush has the skillset to finish Nijem whether standing or on the ground. Wrong - Nijem via TKO

170 lbs. – John Howard (6-3 UFC) vs. Ryan LaFlare (3-0 UFC) - LaFlare via decision
Howard has done very well in his return to the UFC defeating Uriah Hall at 185 lbs. then dropping down to Welterweight and winning another decision over Siyar Bahadurzada. LaFlare still boasts a perfect 10-0 pro record as well as 3-0 in the UFC and he’s done so with solid striking and even better wrestling. On the feet Howard should have the advantage with his technique and power, but LaFlare has good defense and will have the threat of the takedown on his side. LaFlare will certainly try to take this fight to the ground and should find success, but Howard has shown better wrestling skill in his last 2 fights. Howard could win this fight with TDD and striking, but LaFlare’s wrestling has been way too good inside the octagon to bet against him. Correct plus method

145 lbs. – #9 Clay Guida (10-8 UFC) vs. #12 Tatsuya Kawajiri (1-0 UFC) - Guida via decision
Guida is coming off a tough 3rd round TKO loss to top contender Chad Mendes back in August ’13 and has only won 1 of his last 4 fights. Kawajiri won his UFC debut back in January against a tough Sean Soriano via 2nd round submission. This will likely be a grappling battle, but while on the feet Guida should enjoy an advantage with his aggressive and relentless style since Kawajiri doesn’t seem as comfortable with his striking. Both men have great takedowns, but Guida’s grinding style should be more suitable for this type of fight. If Guida gets sloppy on the ground Kawajiri could lock in a submission, but Guida has big time heart and knows he has put together some wins in the UFC. Kawajiri could win this fight, but Guida should grind out another win. Correct plus method

265 lbs. –#11 Antonio Minotauro Nogueira (5-4 UFC) vs. #9 Roy Nelson (6-5 UFC) - Nelson via TKO
Nogueira lost his last fight to Fabricio Werdum via 2nd round submission, but showed he still has plenty of fight left in him. Nelson has lost his last 2 fights both via decision to Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier, but has also shown that he’s still a top 10 Heavyweight and a tough opponent for anyone. On the feet Nelson should have the advantage with his power and Nogueira has shown a weaker chin in the later stages of his career. On the ground it should be a battle between these 2 BJJ practitioners, so don’t expect a submission finish unless it’s after one fighter gets dropped with a strike. This fight will stay standing for the most part and Nelson will find plenty of success with his powerful right hand. Correct plus method

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