Roy Nelson sees Matt Mitrione has an elite athlete who enjoys MMA.

This evening, Nelson will step inside the Octagon with Mitrione in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 16 Live. Mitrione is replacing Shane Carwin, who was injured in training.

“He was an elite athlete in the NFL, and he was doing this for fun,” said Nelson, on Fuel TV Friday after weighing in. “He’s evolved tremendously over the last couple of years.”

Nelson was quick to point out that he really wanted the Carwin fight, saying, “Shane said he wanted to punch me in the face, but I guess he really didn’t.”