The more UFC fights I see on The Ultimate Fighter, the more I start thinking about Roy Nelson. Nelson is 17-4, a former champion, former ADCC fighter, and yet he is competing with ex-NFL players and Kimbo Slice for a UFC deal. What is Nelson really doing there? I will tell you what he is doing there…he is a ringer!
I am less impressed with the skills of the fighters on this season’s TUF more than any other season. It becomes obvious quickly that these guys are babies when it comes to the world of MMA fighting. Roy Nelson on the other hand, is in a class all by himself on the show. The only explanation for Nelson being on the show is that Dana White sabotaged his own show to make a point.
For one thing, Roy Nelson is on the show to prove that MMA fighters are better athletes than NFL players. Even a player that looks like Roy Nelson can whip a jacked up NFL player in an MMA fight. Nelson is also there to put a street fighting hype machine like Kimbo Slice in his place. Dana White’s reaction following the Nelson-Slice fight was brilliant. It told me everything that I needed to know and confirmed for me that the fix is in!
After White makes those remarks, what are you thinking? Maybe, in the back of your head you are thinking, “So a guy who is fat, throws weak punches, and has a weak ground game beat the monster Kimbo Slice?” The same will be said again the next time Nelson takes down one of the hyped ex-NFL players. The strategy is pure genius out of Dana White. Casual UFC fans would have laughed the second they saw Nelson in a UFC octagon. Now, they know this guy is for real and may even pay to see him fight.
There is no logical reason that Nelson should have to compete for a UFC contract. The guy is a former IFL heavyweight champion who has fought marquee matches. I could understand if the theme of the show was a comeback like past TUF seasons, but that is not what this show is about. I look at former IFL fighter, Ben Rothwell as a guy that supports my theory. Nelson beat Rothwell in the IFL, yet Rothwell is making his UFC debut in two weeks and didn’t have to enter a contest to get a UFC deal. So a guy who Nelson beat and was knocked out by Andrei Arlovski last year is good enough to get a UFC contract and the former IFL champion isn’t?
There is also huge marketing potential in Roy Nelson for the UFC. Matt Hughes has been promoted throughout his career as something of an “every-man.” Hughes’ livelihood as a farmer has made him the blue collar hero to UFC fans. Hughes is wrapping up his career and Dana doesn’t have anyone to fill that role. There is something extremely appealing and marketable about a guy that you can relate to chasing the UFC heavyweight title. There was even a moment on TUF where Rashad Evans and his team talked about Roy booking his own fights and training in his basement. It is all coming together perfectly for Dana White.
Headlocks and Eye Gouges – Roy Nelson will be live on Wheelhouse Radio this coming Thursday night. Hear him interviewed live this Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT by clicking RIGHT HERE: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thewheelhouse.
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