If you haven’t been blown away yet by UFC Fight Pass you are not alone. The events to this point have been sub-par by some standards, but that all changes with UFC Fight Night 52 on September 20, 2014.

This is the event that fans that have been holding out have been waiting for. The event features one of the biggest stars in women’s MMA Meisha Tate, an MMA legend in Takanori Gomi taking on rising star Myles Jury and a heavyweight bout between big hitters Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson.

This event is going to deliver and the fact it takes place at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan only adds to the allure of this card. The Japanese fan base is great and the atmosphere in Saitama is always electric.

Join Dale De Souza and RJ Gardner as they breakdown the main event between Nelson and Hunt in detail.

Dale - Often, people talk about a clash between two men with essentially the same style, but very seldom do fans ever get treated to seeing those types of stylistic clashes in the headliner of certain fight cards. The case of UFC Fight Night 52’s headliner, featuring The Ultimate Fighter 10 winner Roy Nelson against PRIDE veteran “Super Samoan” Mark Hunt, presents such an event. Both men come in with a reputation of hunting for knockouts first and asking questions later. Whereas Hunt will come off of a “Fight of The Year” worthy performance in a draw against Antonio Silva, Nelson scored a win in the UFC’s return to Abu Dhabi against former PRIDE and interim-UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo “MInotauro” Nogueira.

RJ - This is one of those fights that fans should be excited for. Neither of these guys is a real threat to the title but they are always fun to watch. Hunt and Nelson throw with bad intentions and they are as tough as fighters come. I can’t think of a situation in which this fight doesn’t deliver. I wish that it was going to be on Fox Sports but I also applaud the UFC for putting this on UFC Fight Pass; this is the kind of fight card it is going to take to get people to pay for their streaming service.

Dale - I agree that this card could easily do well in the realm of the Fox Sports 1 television outlet because the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of fights from either heavyweight is a fight worth watching on television. Part of this comes from the way both men approach fights, but this matchup will take place in Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. I do feel this may energize the South Auckland native, who has a history of competing many times in Japan, and will look to impress again come Saturday night.

RJ - I totally agree with you on that; this fight taking place in Japan will play in the favor of Hunt. But with that said Nelson is as game as they come and he feeds off of that negative energy. I expect this fight to be a stand up war but I also have this feeling that Nelson is going to go back to basics and utilize his elite ground game. If Nelson has a clear advantage anywhere in this fight it is on the ground. We all know Hunt is not good when the fight hits the mat.

Dale - I definitely would like to agree with those sentiments, because on paper, Nelson has more ways to win the bout. We must remember that when Nelson began his career on a 6-0 tear, he submitted four of those six foes. For whatever reason, though, he seems to have gotten away from his submission game since then, which has left him not only looking susceptible to takedown-heavy game-plans from people who are not known at all for their takedowns or top control, but also banking on just one big shot. Hunt will have as hard of a time cracking Nelson’s beard (and subsequently, his jaw) as Frank Mir, Junior dos Santos, Stipe Miocic, and Fabricio Werdum all did, but that does not mean he cannot at least rock or somewhat bust up Nelson, because Hunt definitely possesses the power to do so if Nelson elects to not take this fight to the ground.

RJ - Like I said, I don’t expect this fight to hit the mat but it is something you have to keep in mind; Nelson has an elite ground game and it is maddening at times when he chooses to stand rather than play to his real strengths. Nelson has crazy power and he wants to be known as a knockout artist and that is not a game you want to play with Hunt. If anyone can drop Nelson with one shot it is Hunt. Considering Hunt’s K-1 background Nelson is going to have his hands full on the feet.

Dale - Ultimately, that will be one of the biggest questions Nelson will have to answer, because Hunt will certainly provide a way to hurt Nelson, even if he doesn’t lay hands on him to do so. The other big question I have pertains to what happens if Nelson should survive Hunt’s onslaught for at least the first round. Nelson has lost decisions before, all of which came in three-round bouts, but going five rounds with a vaunted K-1-level striker proves itself as a much different animal altogether, and while I will not count out Nelson’s chances, I have to believe that Hunt will exhaust Nelson and put him away before the championship rounds in “Super Samoan” fashion.

RJ - I have to disagree a little bit here; while I agree that the longer this fight goes means Hunt has more opportunity to unleash his striking but at the same time I feel like the longer this fight goes conditioning will be the biggest factor. Nelson doesn’t have the look of an elite athlete but make no mistake he is well conditioned and prepared. I’m just not sure how well Hunt is going to hold up if this fight makes it into the championship rounds.

Dale’s Prediction - Hunt exhausts Nelson in the first two frames and scores a knockout near the end of the third round.

RJ’s Prediction – Nelson wins via unanimous decision.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.