If we listen to the build up for this fight between both fighters you basically get the following:
- Roy Nelson knows he's a savvy MMA veteran fighting against pretty good competition. While he didn't totally dominant his opponents on TUF like many thought he should have, it was more so a part of his strategy to make it to the finals unscathed. Nelson has the size advantage in this fight as well as the better ground game, while bringing adequate stand up skills to the table and a solid chin
- Brendan Schaub thinks that Roy Nelson has never fought anyone like him, disregarding the fact that Nelson has fought people like Andrei Arlovski and Ben Rothwell. To his credit, Schaub was able to finish every single fighter he faced during his time on TUF. However, it's not like he was absolutely dominant although he would have you believe that. Schaub brings some highly praised (although I haven't been that impressed with them) boxing skills to the table as well as the ability to escape precarious predicaments.
Now it is true that both fighters have been able to get in some top notch training since the taping of TUF concluded a few months ago. Schaub has spent the majority of his time in Colorado training with the likes Shane Carwin. So he should be accustomed to fighting a larger guy when it comes to Nelson. Nelson prefers to train himself with small group, and doesn't really seek out top training partners/camps. So it's tough to guesstimate how much he has improved since fighting on the show.
Schaub allowed himself to be taken down relatively easily against Demico Rogers. John Madsen took him down with ease, as did Marcus Jones. If he allows the same thing to happen with Roy Nelson, it's a wrap like an anorexics meal plan. I don't believe he'll be able to get out of those precarious positions against Nelson the same way he did against Rogers and Jones. So ultimately he'll need to keep this fight standing to have a chance at beating Nelson. However, that's not out of the realm of possibility in that Justin Wren enjoyed some success standing against Nelson while fighting on the show. I think the winner of this fight will be whoever implements their game plan the best, and just how much has Schaub improved since the show ended. If I had to pick someone I would probably go with Nelson just because of his experience, toughness, and advantage on the ground. However, if Nelson allows the fight to stay on its feet then Schaub probably has a chance at winning this one. What say you?