When the UFC added Roy “Big Country” Nelson to “The Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights,” his arrival was an afterthought due to Kimbo Slice’s appearance on the show. Instead, it was Nelson who dominated Slice and won the entire tournament. Although, if you ask anyone who knows MMA, he was the favorite going in.
“I may not be a Greek God, or what people think a fighter looks like, but I’m definitely a fighter,” Nelson recently told UFC.com.
Never shy about his “physique,” Nelson has quietly implanted himself right into the thick of the UFC’s heavyweight title picture and a win over his UFC 117 opponent could make him the next No. 1 contender.
That’s why he’s taking a risk that not many other 265-pounders have been willing to do, putting it all on the line against a very dangerous Junior dos Santos.
“Dos Santos is the pinnacle of guys in the UFC. He’s the number one contender for sure in the heavyweight division. Nobody wants to fight him in the UFC, hence why I’m here fighting him,” Nelson stated. “I pretty much got an email from Joe Silva asking if I wanted to … actually, not even asking me if I wanted to, but telling me that I was fighting Dos Santos next, and here I am.”
It was never just about winning for the larger than life character that Nelson at times can portray. It’s about winning titles. He did so in the now defunct IFL when he captured their heavyweight belt and even attempted to make it onto “The Ultimate Fighter” comeback season. He was quickly turned away having never fought in the Octagon before.
“I wanted to get whatever fast track to a title shot I could. I’m an older guy so I just want to get there as quickly as possible,” Nelson admitted.
There’s no doubt MMA’s biggest gut is on the fast track, but he could put himself in the express lane with a win over dos Santos on August 7th at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.