Prior to recovering from the injury he sustained in his last fight to Fabricio Werdum, one where he was forced to verbally submit to his opponent, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira had already targeted Roy "Big Country" Nelson as a possible return fight.
"I’m totally interested in this fight," Nogueira told MMAFighting.com. "He’s a tough athlete and is always fighting the tops. I would like to fight him. He has a heavy hand and would be a good challenge."
Nelson also had rather nice things to say about his opponent at UFC Fight Night 39 prior, as indicated by MMAFighting.com. That said, he also had some unkind words for his previous opponent's fighting style (Daniel Cormier):
“I definitely watched it — it wasn’t the engagement that I like when I consider fighting. [Cormier] did his job, like I knew he was going to do, I just wanted it to be…kind of like Big Nog is going to be a guy, he’s old school, he’s a fighter. He’s going to put on a show for the fans. I guess there’s a showmanship in fighting.”
“Cormier was more of technician, very technical. He’s going to take some time off the clock. He’s like football, where all they’re going to do is run, run, run, run. There’s not going to be a pass. I don’t prefer to watch his style. I like it from a technical standpoint, but from that hardcore fighter standpoint where I want to see someone go out in a blaze of glory, he’s not going to be that guy. If he’s up two rounds, he’s going to play it safe. Stuff like that.”
Okay, so enough tangential information. Here's what happened when Nogueira and Nelson threw down on April 11.
Early on, Nogueira lands a jab. Then another. Then just like that, Nelson connects with a right hand that sends his opponent to the canvas, seemingly hurt. Nogueira gets up, seems okay. Nelson lands a body punch. Then "Big Country" lands some jabs. Later, he hits home with another right hand that leaves Nogueira woozy. After a few more strikes, that final punch lands- a big right hand from Nelson- hits home to end things.
Roy "Big Country" Nelson defeats Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira by KO at 3:37 of round one.