UFC 166 Date: October 19, 2013 Arena: Toyota Center City: Houston TX Heavyweight bout: Daniel “D.C.” Cormier (-525) vs “Big Country” Roy Nelson (+415) Fight Breakdown: The UFC 166 main card will feature a heavyweight battle between two of the biggest names in the division, when Daniel “D.C.” Cormier steps into the Octagon against “Big Country” Roy Nelson. It’s a fight that is likely to be the last heavyweight scrap for both warriors, as they are both planning a move down to 205 pounds. Cormier is the big favorite heading into this match-up at -525 ($525 to win $100), while Nelson is a heavy underdog at +415 ($100 to win $415) at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. DANIEL “D.C.” CORMIER (12-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will be making his second UFC appearance, following a lackluster performance against Frank Mir that resulted in a unanimous decision victory for him, despite it being uneventful. Cormier is planning a move to the light heavyweight division following this bout, regardless of the outcome. Cormier wants to leave the heavyweight division to his friend and training partner, Cain Velasquez, and admittedly has his sights set on Jon Jones and his light heavyweight title. Cormier is an incredibly talented wrestler who had a very successful career wrestling for Oklahoma State University. He works impressive takedowns and has powerful top control. He has the ability to outwrestle incredibly gifted wrestlers who possess great takedown defense, such as Josh Barnett, whom Cormier defeated by five round unanimous decision to become the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion. To compliment his wrestling, Cormier is a very good boxer who possesses knockout power. Five of his 12 professional mixed martial arts career victories have come by way of knockout, while three have come by way of submission. He can hold his own on the mat, too, even off of his back. “D.C.” owns a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu to go along with his wrestling accolades. Training out of the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, CA, Cormier has incredible cardio and is capable of going three hard rounds without breaking a sweat. Even if Nelson shows up in great shape, Cormier will have a cardio advantage heading into this bout. “BIG COUNTRY” ROY NELSON (9-8 MMA, 6-4 UFC) is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Stipe Miocic at UFC 161, a fight which he took on short notice that ultimately snapped a three fight win streak he had put together. Nelson is an excellent grappler who defines “top control”. He used nothing but to advance to the finals on season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF). He even stated that he did not care how he won his fights, what was important was to win them so he could earn a contract with the UFC. In the finals, it was not his ground game that won him the show, but the power behind his right hand that saw him knock out Brendan Schaub in the very first frame of action. That is now what “Big Country” is known for. His right hand is a vicious weapon that has put out heavyweights, such as Matt Mitrione, Stefan Struve, Cheick Kongo, Mirko Cro Cop, and Dave Herman. Nelson and his right hand are always a threat against anyone in the UFC’s heavyweight division, and soon, light heavyweights will have to watch out for it, too. Like with Cormier, Nelson is planning a move to 205 following this bout. With a win here, he expects a title shot at Jon Jones, because that is what is being promised to Cormier, and he believes that a W automatically puts him in that position. Nelson is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and owns five wins by submission, while 12 of the 19 come by way of knockout, and only two by decision. Fight Prediction: More often than not, Cormier beats Nelson up for three rounds en route to a unanimous decision. But I could see it playing out another way, like — Gabe’s Pick: Daniel Cormier by KO (uppercut and punches, 1:04 round 3) Gabe’s Recommended Plays: Over 1.5 rounds -300 and keep an eye out for Cormier by KO, which I expect to be at incredibly huge plus money.