UFC 161 Opening Odds Breakdown: Light Heavyweights Mauricio Rua vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

Mauricio RuaUFC 161: June 15, 2013 MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada UFC Light Heavyweight Contender Mauricio Rua (-150) Profile: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (21-7) has suffered more than half of his losses in his last seven fights, with two of the three coming with the UFC light heavyweight title on the line. The 30-year-old Brazilian lost to former champion Lyoto Machida via controversial unanimous decision at UFC 104 on October 24, 2009, although he won the rematch at UFC 113 by first-round knockout less than seven months later. That victory earned him the UFC 205lb title belt. He then proceeded to lose the belt to Jon Jones via third-round submission at UFC 128 last March 19. Rua has dropped two of his last three bouts, falling to Dan Henderson by unanimous decision at UFC 139 in what ended up as the Fight of the Year for 2011 and then also dropping a UD to rising prospect Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on FOX 5 last December. UFC Light Heavyweight Contender Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (+110) Profile: Although not as decorated as his twin brother Rodrigo, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (21-5) is still a fondly remembered staple of the PRIDE era. Fighting mostly in Japan throughout his career,”Little Nog” would go on to take part in what was considered the Fight of the Year against Rua in the Pride 2005 Middleweight Grand Prix. Although he lost to Rua, Nog has an extensive resume full of wins over big names. He has beaten Alistair Overeem twice, submitted Dan Henderson, scored a TKO of Tito Ortiz and recently upset Rashad Evans via unanimous decision. Prior to the wins over Ortiz and Evans, Nogueira had struggled against top-level wrestlers, losing back-to-back bouts against Phil Davis and Ryan Bader. Now he gets the chance to avenge his loss to Rua when they meet again in a rematch at UFC 161. Opening UFC 161 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Rua a small -150 favorite (bet $150 to win $100) while Nogueira opened as a +110 underdog (bet $100 to win $110) at Several Bookmakers sportsbook. Neither one of these veteran fighters will be in line for a title shot anytime soon, but this bout is still a classic matchup between two men who last met in the quartefinals of the 2005 PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix. Rua went on to capture the Grand Prix title, also knocking out Quinton Jackson, Alistair Overeem and Ricardo Arona along the way, capping a career-long eight-fight winning streak and one of the greatest years in MMA history. His fight vs. Nogueira was also named 2005 Fight of the Year, the first of two for “Shogun” during his illustrious career. However, Nogueira is the one coming off a win in his last outing over Evans, while Rua did not look like an elite light heavyweight against Gustafsson. Both are on a similar level at this stage, and the MMAOB MMA Fighter Rankings back that up. Despite being five years older, “Little Nog” has looked better in his last two bouts than Rua, making for an intriguing battle between the two Brazilians. Rua has a slight edge for fighting better competition over the last four years and winning the UFC light heavyweight title during that stretch. But he is just 5-5 in the organization overall, including 2-3 in his past five. Nogueira is 4-2 in the UFC and has a golden opportunity here to not only get revenge but also move into the Top 5 of light heavyweight contenders with a victory.

Written by Matty

Leave a Reply

Frank Trigg Interviews UFC Fighter John Makdessi

MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: Guida injured, Mendes left without opponent yet again