The Ultimate Fighter 10 winner Roy Nelson is speaking out about Brock Lesnar and a potential UFC return. Nelson is campaigning for a fight with Brock in the media. The heavyweight slugger is throwing his hat in the ring and volunteering to be Brock’s welcoming committee. Nelson told Heavy.com that he would welcome a collision with the former UFC heavyweight champion.
This is not the first time that a Roy Nelson vs. Brock Lesnar has been talked about. The fight was reportedly under consideration after Brock lost the UFC heavyweight title to Cain Velasquez in October 2010. The idea of someone who looks like Nelson fighting a giant like Brock was a money match even casual MMA fans could sink their teeth into. Believe it or not, it was Brock reportedly campaigning for the fight back in 2010. Here is what I wrote in a blog about the story in 2010.
“MMA and pro wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer reports that Lesnar wants to fight Nelson. Meltzer said on a recent podcast that Lesnar wants the fight because he feels Nelson would be a great test. Say what you want about Lesnar, but he is really a true competitor. The only thing taking this fight off of the table is that Lesnar is medically suspended for six months. If the UFC held Nelson out until the fight, the earliest that Lesnar vs. Nelson could happen would be mid-April. That would give Nelson an 8 month layoff which may be a bit too much and a little unfair.”
Well the fight never happened but it may not be dead after all. Is Roy Nelson the right fight for Brock Lesnar to take upon returning to the UFC? I could make arguments for both answers. My hunch says no. As fun as the fight would be on paper, it is a lose-lose for the UFC. If Lesnar wins, all of the momentum with Roy Nelson coming off of UFC 146 is lost. If Nelson wins, you have sacrificed your biggest drawing card to a guy that nobody would call the future of the heavyweight division. The only plus and it is a big one would be the dollars that this fight could bring to the UFC.
Mike Sawyer of Tough Talk andF4Wonline.com reported that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is the man up for Lesnar if he returns. That is just a really odd fight to me. I think it is a no-win situation for Brock. If Brock bets Nog, you will have people saying that the fight was set up as an easy fight because Nogueira is past his prime. If Brock loses the fight, well Brock lost to a guy past his prime. I also think of all potential opponents that Big Nog is probably the least appealing when it comes to box office. I am sorry but if you are bringing Brock back for one fight, Nogueira is not the guy I’d use to maximize your investment.
Of course according to the UFC president, Brock isn’t returning to the octagon any time soon.