The good and the bad of MMA is that it is unpredictable and promoters can only do so much planning. For the first and maybe only time in the UFC the worlds have aligned for Brock Lesnar vs. Roy Nelson inside of the octagon. Even Dana White couldn’t have planned for this freak show.
Coming off his loss to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121, Brock Lesnar is in need of an opponent. The trick here is finding the right who can both test Brock yet give him an opportunity at redemption. Make no mistake. Brock Lesnar will continue to be a draw for the UFC. However, at 0-2 or 0-3 the opportunities to make blockbuster money matches with Lesnar vs. the UFC heavyweight elite will be quite slim.
Enter “Big County” Roy Nelson. Roy Nelson was recently scheduled to fight Shane Carwin at UFC 125 on New Year’s Day. Nelson is coming off a loss in which he looked damned good against the number one contender Junior dos Santos, but lost on a decision. The fight was appealing to UFC fans hoping to see big punches and a knockout considering that Nelson and Carwin have 15 knockouts between them. Sadly, Carwin had to pull out of the fight due to an injury leaving Nelson without an opponent. Hello Brock Lesnar vs. Roy Nelson.
The Ultimate Fighter 10 winner and former IFL heavyweight champion Roy Nelson could solve this problem. Casual MMA fans may not take Nelson seriously, but hardcore MMA fans know that is Nelson is no pushover. At 15-5 with 8 knockout and 5 submission wins, Roy Nelson is a quality opponent. Roy Nelson fulfils all of the criteria of both being a fighter that Lesnar should beat and also being skilled enough to test the former WWE superstar. The match just makes sense.
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.
As appealing as this is on a lot of levels I would be shocked if Joe Silva made the match. Quite frankly there is way too much to lose if Brock Lesnar gets knocked out. Out of everyone available to fight Lesnar, Roy Nelson is probably the most dangerous opponent in the field. Lesnar would have a much better chance against Mir, Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, Cheick Kongo, or Shane Carwin. Remember, this is a guy that one of the best strikers in MMA and the number one contender in the UFC heavyweight division couldn’t put away in three rounds and arguably would have lost if the fight went five. This is fire that the UFC won’t want to play with or not until they get their Mir vs. Lesnar trilogy.
If and that is a big if, it happens.
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