What do you get when you combine a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, bar room brawling, Southern comfort food, bacon fat, and KFC? You get Roy “Big Country” Nelson. Despite being criticized for being out of shape and in a weight class too heavy for his natural strength, Nelson has defied all odds and now may be in contention for a title fight if he wins his bout in UFC 161 against Stipe Miocic.
Nelson’s last fight ended in a knock out win against Cheick Kongo. Kongo is the type of fighter who is ripped like a Marvel superhero. Meanwhile, Nelson is a pasty white ball of grease sporting a mullet. From the outside, anyone would have guessed that Kongo would rip Nelson apart. Big Country flipped the world’s perception of fighting upside down when he knocked the muscle bound Kongo to the floor with a wild but devastating overhand right. This was an overhand right that literally knocked Kongo out of the UFC.
However, despite his heroics against Kongo, he is still ranked behind contenders in Daniel Cormier, “Bigfoot” Silva, Junior dos Santos and Fabricio Werdum. Well, Cain Velasquez just demolished Silva, and Cormier’s victory versus Mir was arguably the most boring fight of the year. Dana White won’t likely allow Cormier to get a title shot with such an uninspired performance. Dos Santos also has a recent lose to Velasquez. Meanwhile, a win at 161 can pull Nelson past Werdum in the top five rankings.
Velasquez already beat Bigfoot twice, but could he do it to Big Country? This might be a fun match up to watch. Velasquez is dominating the heavyweight division, while Big Country has been eating Big Macs. Some fans might want to see Velasquez vs. Dos Santos III, but it would certainly be appealing to see a new match up.
We have yet to see what Nelson can do against Velasquez. In all fairness, Valasquez is not Kongo, but Nelson might be that hard-chinned fighter who can throw down against him. Nelson has that blue collar, barroom style of fighting that fans love to watch. He eats maple syrup pancakes and left hooks for breakfast. When Nelson is the Octagon, you know that he is going to war and is going to leave it all on the mat.
What Nelson has working against him is that he has lost to both Dos Santos and Werdum in the past. But the loss to Werdum came in February of 2012 and his lost to Dos Santos was in 2010. Those mishaps have been largely forgotten as he has gained momentum with three straight victories, each ending with first-round knockouts.
It’s important for Nelson not to overlook Miocic, but with a victory in UFC 161, we can see some real fireworks in a potential Velasquez vs. Nelson showdown. So, while amateur fighters everywhere are eating brown rice and dried-out grilled chicken everyday looking to make weight, Nelson is literally making more weight for his case as the number one contender for a heavy weight title bout with Velasquez. No, I wasn’t making a fat joke here, but he does have a strict diet of eating whatever he feels like, including other UFC heavyweights. Good luck, Stipe Miocic.