Nogueira is a well respected, long time veteran of MMA. He fought in the Pride organization for several years before coming over to the UFC in 2007. His last fight was a unanimous decision victory over MMA legend Randy Couture. A win over Velasquez would move Big Nog one step closer at a shot for the heavyweight belt.
Velasquez has been undefeated since joining the UFC in 2008. He was 5-0 going into this fight and has defeated fighters Cheick Kongo, Ben Rothwell, Denis Stojnic, Jake O Brien, and Brad Morris. There was a lot of excitement surrounding Velasquez and many thought he was on his way to a title shot. In order to do that he would have to take out the boxing and submission specialist Nogueira.
Round 1: Both fighters meet in the middle of the Octagon. They circle each other trying to establish the other’s timing. Nog attacks first, throwing a couple of straight jabs. Cain answers back with a couple jabs of his own. They back off and face off again. Cain moves in and lands a stiff leg kick that backs Nog up. Cain backs up slightly and quickly moves in to land a kick to Nog’s arm. Cain tries to come in again and land a quick punch, but Nog counters with one or two shots that backs Cain up.
Nog moves forward as Cain is circling back, looking ready to strike at any moment. They continue feeling each other out in the center for a moment, and Cain throws a leg kick that misses, attempting to close the distance between them. Cain steps forward and feints, which causes Nog to move backward. Nog gets his bearings back and plods forward, ready to engage.
Nog throws a straight jab while Cain kicks to his body. Cain ducks down and backs up momentarily. Nog moves forward and Cain meets him in the center. They each circle each other in the middle of the ring, feinting, but neither one throwing a strike. Cain steps forward and lands a solid leg kick on Nog. Nog backs up for just a second and moves forward again.
Nog moves in an throws a hook at Cain, but Cain counters with a solid left, right combo that connects on Nog’s face. It shakes Nog slightly, but he stands firm in the same spot, then moves forward as if asking Cain for more. Cain backs up slightly and moves forward again. Cain comes in feinting and ducking but throws nothing. Nog circles around looking for a better position and Cain stays right with him.
Nog throws a quick jab while Cain at the same time lands another solid leg kick on Nog. Nog takes the kick and both men circle each other in the center of the ring. Cain steps forward again and throws a quick jab followed by another strong leg kick. It moves Nog slightly sideways, then he replants and moves forward.
Both fighters feint and bounce in and out of range, looking for the perfect range to land a shot. Cain throws a high kick to Nog’s face which gets blocked. Cain circles on the outside while Nog moves forward to engage. Nog throws a couple of jabs that do no damage, then Cain follows up with yet another leg kick.
They clinch in the center and Cain attempts a knee which doesn’t land. Once they break Cain lands a left hand to Nog’s face. They both engage again and Cain lands a slight left hook while Nog’s jab misses the mark. Nog attempts to come in once again with a jab, but Cain responds with 3 or 4 short hooks in a row that catches Nog and drops him to the canvas on his back. Cain rushes forward and lands 4 solid punches to Nog’s face. Nog looks finished at this point, and referee Herb Dean jumps in to stop the fight. Cain Velasquez defeats Minotauro Nogueira by KO in round 1.