TUF 16: Who Will Snap on Roy Nelson First, Dana or Carwin?
The forthcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter promises to be the most intriguing series in years. It will pit one of the UFC’s douchiest fighters, Roy “Big Country” Nelson, against the former interim heavyweight champion Shane Carwin.
The two heavyweights have had a personal rivalry percolating over the past year, but they may not be the only source of fireworks. Dana White himself has made no secret of his distaste for Nelson and early indications show that he’s already set to snap on the Nevada native.
"The first day, as soon as we start filming, he starts shooting his mouth off and saying dumb [expletive]," White said.
White has been butting heads with “Big Country” since way back in 2009 when Nelson, much to the UFC president’s annoyance, won the TUF Heavyweights season. Back then White said:
“Roy Nelson is a moron. Interview him sometime, you'll find out. Roy Nelson is an idiot, he's a complete [expletive].”
“People talk about him making 205—listen, that would be a huge life change and a tough thing for him to do, how about 240? Let's make 240, Roy. The fat thing was funny for a while, it's not funny anymore. It's not funny when you're the co-main event in a big fight like that and the fight looks the way that it did tonight.”
Clearly one of White’s biggest problems is that Nelson is difficult for the promotion to market, and the fighter isn’t afraid of rubbing that fact in his bosses’ face. Since graduating from TUF, “Big Country” has gone on to style his hair into a mullet and often appears at fight night with a grotesque beard.
Considering this history between White and Nelson, it’s not hard to imagine that tensions would appear between the two from the first day of filming.
But the question is who hates Nelson more, the UFC president, or his opposite number on TUF 16, Shane Carwin?
Nelson is perhaps the most vocal anti-steroids protesters in the UFC and has been quick to jump on the fact that Carwin’s name appeared on a list of customers held by a busted steroids manufacturer.
When it was announced that Nelson and Carwin would be opposing coaches on TUF this summer, “Big Country” was quick to bring up Carwin’s alleged steroid use.
"Why wait tell December we can see if we can get on (UFC 151). Is this enough time to cycle off?" said Nelson – referring to the time it takes to test clean after a steroid cycle.
However, Nelson’s actions in the run-up to the show must have incensed both White and Carwin in equal measure.
His early choices for assistant coaches included Kurt Angle (another man linked to the same steroid bust as Carwin), former Strikeforce champ Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal (who tested positive for steroids earlier in the year), and convicted steroid dealer turned anti-steroid advocate Victor Conte.
None of these men will be allowed to appear on TV.
It almost seems as though Nelson is trying to get fired from the promotion. During the filming of the show, he sent a Tweet criticizing White’s stance on testosterone-replacement-therapy, which some people consider as unfair steroid use.
“The Juice is good @Danawhite says so as long as you don't over do it Retweet @ufc . Now I know why Overeem is OK NOW! I feel like some OJ.”
It’s clear that “Big Country” has a big mouth and he’s not afraid to be vocal on the most controversial topics. He’s made it his mission to rub both White and Carwin up the wrong way and it’s likely that both will snap on him by the time the season is over.
The first episode airs on FX on Sept. 14.
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