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Is Roy Nelson next for Brock Lesnar?

roy nelsonThe 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.

Frank Mir is the obvious choice for Brock Lesnar’s next fight. He is almost a little too obvious. Lesnar and Mir have split in their previous two fights. The grudge between the two men is real as evident by Lesnar getting in Mir’s face immediately after rearranging his face at UFC 100. Since the loss, Mir has gone 2-1 winning his last fight with a dramatic third round knockout. But with everything to gain by all, it may be too soon for a Lesnar vs. Mir rematch. It would mean much more if both guys had another win and a title shot on the line, thus it is probably in everyone’s best interest to wait.

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.

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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.

Next to Frank Mir, Nelson would be Lesnar’s best drawing future opponent on the freak show aspect alone. Seeing the Brock Lesnar entering the octagon looking like a monster against the beer bellied Roy Nelson is something everyone can get behind. On top of the physical show, Lesnar and Nelson are two of the best promoters in the UFC. Both guys get it and can talk a great game. Add a couple of months of trash talking to the pressures of Lesnar rebounding off a loss and the physical side show and you have a recipe for one of the biggest non-title UFC fights of 2011.

If and that is a big if, it happens.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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