Roy Nelson’s next opponent won’t be Cheick Kongo or Frank Mir, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be fighting one of the toughest competitors the UFC heavyweight division has to offer. According to MMA Junkie, he’s expected to take on Junior dos Santos at UFC 117.

Kongo (15-6-1 MMA, 8-4 UFC) has withdrawn from a rumored meeting with Nelson at UFC 116 due to a back injury, according to multiple reports. In his place, the UFC has slotted a surprising replacement: Junior Dos Santos (11-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC).

According to ( sources close to the event, at least one fighter has agreed to the contest, now targeted for the main card of UFC 117, with the intention to sign a bout agreement.

This is a hell of a fight. Roy Nelson has proved he’s a force on the feet, but I don’t think he’ll want to stand and trade punches with Junior dos Santos. Remember what Arlovski did to Nelson? On the same token, JDS probably doesn’t want Roy Nelson and his big belly laying on top of him working for submissions. Who would?

JDS will be the early favorite, but it’s a dangerous fight for someone who’s waiting their turn for a title shot. It’s also a great opportunity for Roy Nelson to steal JDS’ spot in line.

On a semi-related note, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira says he “would love a rematch with Frank Mir.” They’re both coming off losses. Why not?

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