Interview with The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights, Cast Member Roy Nelson
With a record of 13-4 Roy “Big Country” Nelson is far from a newcomer to the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Unlike many of his cast mates on this season’s The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights, Nelson has faced some of the sports biggest names and is recognized as the International Fight League’s last heavyweight champion. During his time in the IFL, Roy won 6 of his 7 fights, with his only loss coming via a very close split decision loss at the hands of Ben Rothwell. However since the now defunct IFL went out of business Nelson is 0-2 against some of the sports high profiled fighters.
Last October Nelson stepped up to fight Andre Arvloski, on EliteXC’s CBS show, who was coming off his impressive win over Rothwell. While Nelson appeared to have won the 1st round, there was a very questionable stand up as Nelson was working for a submission after taking Arvloski down. Although he says cardio did not play a factor, “Big Country” did appear winded and lost via TKO in the 2nd round. Earlier this month Nelson was again on the wrong end of a very close and controversial loss this time at the hands of Jeff Monson.
Keep reading to find out his thoughts on Kimbo Slice, how he’d fare against current UFC champion Brock Lesnar, and why he thought he was going to be the “Big Announcement” on this seasons, The Ultimate Fighter.
StrLive: Roy can you tell us what you’ve been up to since filming wrapped up for The Ultimate Fighter?
RN: Just a lot of PR stuff, promoting the show, getting back in the gym, start training again, and hopefully getting to fight on the finale in December.
StrLive: How did you get on the show? Did your people initiate the contact or did the UFC come to you?
RN: We talked with the UFC back in January before they were doing the heavyweights and just talked about getting in the UFC and fighting on one of their cards. I got a call back in May before they started shooting to do the show.
StrLive: You were shown on the first episode saying you thought you were going to be the big announcement, did they give you impression you’d be the “big name” on this season’s TUF?
RN: Not really, just when we were doing our physicals and everybody did their physical a month before. I was a last minute replacement and I just figured my name carries pretty good weight and be the guy behind the door but it was Kimbo.
StrLive: Kimbo Slice…how would you rate his in ring ability?
RN: Actually fighting ability…styles make matches. I’d put him against any 205′er, from Rampage to Rashad to Jardine. He could knock off any guys head off. They like to stand and bang(at 205) and he’s one of those guys that could fight at 205. Heavyweights a little more different because they are more well rounded and styles make matches.
StrLive: Did it surprise you weren’t picked sooner by one of the coaches? I believe Rashad picked you fourth.
RN: Not really, Rashad already knew quite a few guys that were on the team. I don’t think it had anything to do with actual skill set and more so friendship.
StrLive: Were any of the coaches familiar with you prior to the show?
RN: I think they knew who I was but not personally.
StrLive: Who would you say was the hardest guy to deal with in the house?
RN: For me, I didn’t have a problem with anybody, just because everybody respected me on a whole other level than some of the other guys. Its kind of hard to say…the biggest troublemaker had to be Wes Sims just because its Wes.
StrLive: For the preview of the upcoming episode your portrayed as a jokester and we see you being talked to by the coaches, can you tell us what to expect?
RN: All I can say is watch the show and we can talk about it after. I just hope they air the whole clip. It’s actually pretty funny to me. You see Roy getting the attitude adjustment and then you see the coaches getting the attitude adjustment.
StrLive: What was the biggest positive you took from having done the show?
RN: The biggest positive was getting different peoples training methods, ground and pound techniques, and applying the stuff the works and tossing out what didn’t.
StrLive: You’re pretty much guaranteed a fight or two in the UFC, whether it be in the finals or at the finale event. Any interest in a rematch with Rothwell now that he’s signed with the UFC?
RN: Yes, only if he’s like the next person you have to go through to actually get to the top. But if he’s behind me, no not really. It’s one of those things I already know I won.
StrLive: Tell us where we will see Roy Nelson one year from now?
RN: If everything goes as planned, hopefully with the championship around my waist.
StrLive: How do you think you would match up against Brock?
RN: I think I’d do excellent. All I have to do is stop his shot because that’s all a wrestlers going to do, is take you do. But I doubt he’s going to be able to take me down. Hands-wise I think I have better hands.
StrLive: Roy, thanks for your time anything you’d like to add?
RN: I want to thank all the fans out there. Go to www.Roynelson.com and thank my sponsors www.Superaction.com and www.tapout.com.