UFC 73: Nogueira-Herring Preview

At July 7, 2007, UFC 73: Stacked will feature a heavyweight bout between PRIDE veteran, and UFC newcomer Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira and Heath “The Texas Crazyhorse” Herring.

Minotauro Nogueira is the heavily favored fighter in this one considering that he has already beat Heath Herring twice in PRIDE, and it doesn’t hurt that Noguiria is ranked as the number two MMA heavyweight in the world.

Nogueira is coming in at 30 years of age, 6 feet 3 inches, and an overall record of 29-4-1. Known for his technical mastery of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and his exciting submission victories, Nogueira holds some notable wins of Mirko Cro Cop, Josh Barnett, Dan Henderson and Jeremy Horn.

Nogueira was ranked number one on my top five submission artists of MMA today.

Though, it may be dead obvious who the winner is in this one, Heath “The Texas Crazyhorse” Herring can’t be counted out, after all, this is mixed martial arts and anything can happen. Herring can best be known for his wacky and colorful hairdos, black trench coat and sweet cowboy hat and tremendous power in his knees and kicks.

Herring will forever be part of one MMA’s most memorable moments on December 31, 2005 at K-1’s Dynamite 2005 show. During the usual pre-fight stare down, his opponent, Yoshihiro Nakao decided to kiss Herring on the lips for some reason. Herring didn’t take this too well and blasted Nakao with a heart rattling right hook that sent Nakao flying across the ring and eventually on a stretcher. Herring’s infamous “kiss” video is now quite the popular spectacle on the Internet.

Herring is 29 years of age, 6 foot 4 inches and fighting out of Las Vegas, Nevada and holds a UFC record of 1-1 and an overall MMA record of 26-12-1. Herring has faced some tough competition in the past such as: Fedor Emelianenko, Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Kerr, Igor Vovchanchyn, Evan Tanner and Vitor Belfort. Herring most recently defeated Brad Imes by a unanimous decision at UFC 69: Shootout.

Herring’s performances in the UFC thus far have been mediocre and I hope to see the Herring I’m used to seeing in the PRIDE ring.

This fight is really just a coming out show for Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira. The UFC’s heavyweight division is getting deeper and deeper with the recent additions of Nogueira, Cro Cop, Gonzaga and the possibility of #1 world heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko.

With Nogueira’s incredible jiu-jitsu skills and well polished striking abilities, I strongly believe that he will hold the UFC HW title belt in no time. I can’t see this man losing, unless of course, he has to face Fedor Emelianenko again.

I'm looking forward to see "Minotauro" Nogueira face Gabriel Gonzaga, that has fight of the century written all over it. Let's hope Joe Silva to whips that match together down the road. Any who, that's for another time and another article :)

PREDICTION: Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira by submission (armbar) in the 1st round.

The Lianger