UFC 143 Results: 4 Fights to Get Roy Nelson Back on Track

Andrew Barr@@andrewbarr8Correspondent IFebruary 5, 2012

UFC 143 Results: 4 Fights to Get Roy Nelson Back on Track

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    UFC fan favorite Roy Nelson had a tough outing at UFC 143, losing a unanimous decision to Fabricio Werdum.

    As is usual, Nelson showed a ton of heart throughout the fight, absorbing tremendous punishment, but he did not mount enough offense to tip the scorecards in his favor.

    The UFC loves gutsy fighters—no pun intended—who leave it all in the cage and put on a good show for the fans, but simply being entertaining isn't enough. You also need some wins.

    With the loss last night, Nelson is now 1-3 in his past four fights with the UFC. If he doesn't turn things around now, he could find himself without a job soon enough.

    Here's four fights Nelson could take next to help get himself back on track...

Mike Russow

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    Mike Russow is not a big name in the UFC's heavyweight division yet, but Nelson should be more concerned with just getting a win in his next fight, not whether or not it's a marquee matchup.

    Russow is a tough opponent with a solid wrestling background and competent striking skills.

    He is currently 4-0 in the UFC, coming off a decision victory over John-Olav Einemo, so a step up in competition in the form of Roy Nelson would make sense for him.

Shane Carwin

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    Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson were supposed to fight at UFC 125, but Carwin was forced to withdraw from the fight, due to back and neck pains.

    It was later revealed that Carwin would undergo surgery on his back that would keep him out of competition until mid 2012.

    Now that Carwin is just a few months away from returning and both men are coming off losses, this fight still makes sense.

    Nelson and Carwin are similar fighters in that neither has phenomenal stand up, technically, but they both have big power and great chins.

    Putting these two in the cage together almost guarantees a slugfest.

Gabriel Gonaga

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    Gabriel Gonzaga recently made his return to the UFC, earning an impressive first-round submission over Ednaldo Oliveira.

    Now that Gonzaga is back on track, he will likely be looking for a big-name opponent to get him back into the mix at the top of the division.

    As such, matching him up with Roy Nelson makes good sense.

    It's likely that Nelson would want to keep this fight standing, but it would be interesting to see the fight taken to the mat, as both men are skilled grapplers.

Brendan Schaub

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    Brendan Schaub and Nelson have met before in the cage.

    Both men made it the finals of The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights and squared off to determine the season's winner.

    On that night, Nelson was the better man, knocking Schaub out in the first round.

    Since then, both men have accomplished a lot in the heavyweight division, and both have had their set backs.

    Nelson and Schaub are each coming off losses, so matching them up again would make sense.

    Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com. For updates on what's happening in the world of MMA, follow him on Twitter @AndrewBarr8