When Roy Nelson meets Junior dos Santos this weekend in Oakland, he’ll be fighting the number one heavyweight in the UFC. Well, that’s how he sees it at least. Nelson told MMA Fighting’s Ben Fowlkes that fighting JDS means almost as much as a title fight to him because he feels JDS is the best heavyweight in the UFC “by far.” He seems to have come to this conclusion after watching Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin’s heavyweight clash.
“I’m glad to be fighting Junior dos Santos,” said Nelson. “People might not realize it, but he’s a stud. I think he’s probably the No. 1 guy out there by far.”
In fact, Nelson said, the fight with dos Santos holds almost as much allure as the title fight he’ll earn if he can get past him. In part, that’s because Nelson has so much respect for what dos Santos can do. It’s also because he’s not entirely impressed with the rest of the UFC’s heavyweight division.
For instance, take UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar and his most recent challenger, Shane Carwin. Nelson watched that fight closely and “learned a lot about” each man, he said.
“Carwin, he seems like he trains for five, one-minute rounds. That’s his championship fight, apparently,” said Nelson. “But no, you learn a lot. Like Carwin, he quits. He basically quit with Brock and he tapped out. That means you quit. It’s pretty self-explanatory. Then Brock, you learned that if you don’t give him an opportunity to come back on you, if you don’t give him that hole to come back, he won’t come back. Shane just gave him the chance to come back. He didn’t put him away.”
“I mean, look at him. All that muscle to feed oxygen to, of course he gets tired. You have all that muscle on you, you’re going to get tired. That’s why I prefer to be fat.”
That Roy Nelson, always stirring the pot. Of course, it’s in his best interest to pump up his opponent as much as possible, but you know, he might be on to something. Once the division fully shakes out, I don’t expect Brock Lesnar to still be the king of the heavyweight hill. My money’s on JDS or Cain Velasquez wearing that illustrious crown.
Image via Sherdog
Update: Might those quitting comments about Shane Carwin come back to haunt Roy Nelson? UK UFC head Marshall Zelasnik hinted that Nelson may find himself in the cage with Carwin if he loses to JDS.
“Shane Carwin is a man people would love to have a win over on their record,” Zelaznik told ESPN.co.uk. “His performance against Brock Lesnar was so good that he only sits one or two fights away from a return to a title shot.
“Junior Dos Santos and Roy Nelson are the two names that, come hell or high water, Shane is going to have to face.
“Joe [Silva] has a tendency to match fighters who are coming off losses in order to give them their chance to turn things around. So how the Nelson v Dos Santos fight plays out may have a bearing on Shane Carwin.”