UFC 134: Rio Primer - Luiz Cane vs. Stanislav Nedkov

UFC® RIO Weigh-In at HSBC Arena on Friday, August 26, 2011 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Photos by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

At UFC 134: Rio, Light Heavyweights Luiz Cane (11-3, 1 NC; 4-3 UFC) and Stanislav Nedkov (11-0; UFC Debut) will face off. This is the PPV opener. Cane is currently ranked #22 in the Light Heavyweight USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings, while Nedkov is outside the top 25.

Interesting fight here, as it's rare to see a fighter making his UFC debut on the PPV portion of the show. But Nedkov has put together an impressive undefeated record, and comes in with solid credentials. Cane was in a similar position when he made his UFC debut as an undefeated fighter four years ago. He'll look to be the spoiler for Nedkov in Rio. Expect Cane to try and keep the fight standing, while Nedkov looks to fight on the ground.

How do these two stack up?

Cane: 30 years old | 6'2" | 77" reach
Nedkov: 29 years old | 5'11"

What have these two done recently?

Cane: W - Eliot Marshall (TKO) | L - Cyrille Diabate (TKO) | L - Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (TKO)
Nedkov: W - Augustin Helgiu (SUB) | W - Kevin Randleman (SD) | W - Travis Wiuff (TKO)

How did these two get here?

Cane came into the UFC in 2007 much like Nedkov comes in today - an undefeated prospect looking to make his mark in the US scene. After a DQ loss in his UFC debut, Cane started turning heads with an impressive TKO over Jason Lambert. He followed that up with more quality wins over Sokodjou and Steve Cantwell, and was gaining considerable momentum when he was paired with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira for Nog's UFC debut. Cane was outclassed on the feet in that fight, losing via TKO. Since then, he's competed very sporadically. His last fight was a win over Eliot Marshall that probably saved his UFC career, but he still needs a win here.

Nedkov's UFC debut has been a long time coming. The Bulgarian fighter was signed over a year ago, and had fights scheduled at UFC 117 and UFC 120, but both were cancelled due to injury (one to Nedkov, one to his opponent). Now, he steps back in after a 15 month layoff. Nedkov has competed primarily in his homeland of Bulgaria, but gained international attention when he traveled to Japan in 2008-2009, winning three fights in Pancrase and Sengoku. He is a skilled ground fighter, with a strong base in both wrestling and jiu jitsu.

Why should you care?

You’ll either get to see a new prospect make a successful UFC debut, or that debut spoiled by a game veteran clawing his way back up the ranks. Either one sounds fun to me.

More UFC 134 Previews from Bloody Elbow after the jump.

More UFC 134 coverage from SBN

 

 

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