Fight Island Picks: 2 Legends, 1 Island! Shogun vs Nogueira Prediction
It isn't the co-main event we asked for, but its the co-main event we got.
Sat, Jul 25 / 8:00 PM EDT UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates.
The co-main event for UFC Fight Island 3 features a bout between Maurício Rua vs. Antônio Rogério Nogueira. These two legends of the sport are well past their prime and are set to complete their trilogy, as they face off for the third time. Shogun is sporting a 2-0 record against Nogueira with wins in 2005 and 2015 both by unanimous decision. This highly anticipated trilogy fight (slight sarcasm) will go down on Fight Island as these two weathered Brazilians will look to snatch a victory in the twilight of their careers.
At 38 years of age, Shogun is coming off a Draw (Split) against Paul Craig in November 2019 that was a back and forth lackluster affair where many people, including myself, scored the fight 29-28 slightly in favor of Shogun. In 2018, Shogun had a 1-1 record with a TKO victory over Tyson Pedro with a huge overhand right followed by ferocious ground and pound, and a first-round KO defeat against Anthony Smith where he was outmatched by a tough competitor in 'Lionheart.'
Meanwhile, Nogueira is 44 years old who last fought in May 2019 where he suffered a brutal KO loss to Ryan Spann within minutes of the opening round. Nogueira has been fairly inactive as he has only competed two times in the octagon since November 2016. His other fight was against 'Smile'n' Sam Alvey in September 2018, which ended in a sloppy slugfest early in the second round where Nogueira scored the TKO victory.
Shogun vs Nogueira Prediction
One element to look for in this fight is the weigh-ins on Friday because it will be a key indicator as to what shape these two legends are currently in as they are getting up in age and have been through wars in the octagon. Another key indicator to consider is that according to the official UFC stats, Shogun is winning a whopping 81% of his fights by KO/TKO, while Nogueira is absorbing a staggering 6.12 strikes per minute.
Currently, Shogun is coming in as a -190 favourite while Nogueira is sitting at +155 on Bodog. While Nogueira is known for being a durable fighter, I am not confident his chin will hold up in this fight as three of his previous four losses have ended in KO/TKO. Father time is catching up to him as well, but Shogun is no 'young gun' either so I hope for our sake that this fight does not go past the first round. The previous two fights between Shogun and Nogueira have resulted in decisions, but I am expecting Shogun to end that trend by outlasting Nogueira and eventually clipping him on the feet, followed by vicious ground and pound. Hammer the Shogun KO/TKO prop bet.
Prediction: Shogun by KO/TKO