Roy Nelson, your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves taking down skyrocketing superstar Junior dos Santos at “UFC 117: Silva vs. Sonnen” this Saturday in Oakland, California.
While that’s typically how Ethan Hunt receives his life-threatening assignments, Nelson had his marching orders furnished in a much more direct fashion.
“Well, I wasn’t given much of an option. I got an email from (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva that said I was fighting dos Santos and that was it,” Nelson told 5thRound.com. “Some of the elite fighters are given a list of fighters to choose from because more is on the line for them.
“Maybe they would prefer to fight someone they know they can get a win over and not get hurt, but most of us just get a call or an email telling us who we’re fighting next.”
If Nelson is able to overcome his 2.5-to-1 underdog status, he’ll propel himself into the upper echelon of the Octagon’s heavyweight division. However, his opponent would still be assigned to him at that point because UFC president Dana White has confirmed the winner between the dos Santos/Nelson scrap will fight for the title in their next outing.
While all that sounds great in theory, Nelson knows he faces a daunting – if not insurmountable – task in trying to snap the Brazilian’s vicious six-fight winning streak.
“I think what he’s done over his last few fights has really proven that he’s the top contender. I mean, wins over [Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic], Gabriel Gonzaga, Fabricio Werdum – who just happened to beat the guy that hadn’t lost in 10 years in Fedor [Emelianenko].
“He’s shown that he can beat anyone and that’s why nobody wants to fight him.”
Although it’s no surprise to hear the always classy Nelson boast about the greatness of his opposition, he didn’t just fall off the turnip truck himself – despite constant jokes to the contrary. The former IFL heavyweight champ owns an solid 15-4 professional record and has posted impressive finishes in 12 of his wins.
In addition to the thunder he packs in his hands, “Big Country” also dons a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Despite preparing for an all-out war, Nelson certainly isn’t hoping for one.
“A perfect night is just getting a quick win any way I can,” Nelson said of his despise for working overtime. “Of course I prefer a finish. Everybody might be talking about this epic war we’re going to have, but I’m hoping for a quick fight to avoid unnecessary pounding on this body.
“If I can get him standing or on the ground with my jiu jitsu skills, I’ll take it either way.”
This explosive top contender bout takes place this Saturday inside Oracle Arena in Oaktown. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.