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TUF 16 Finale: Why Roy Nelson Will Always Be a Thorn in Dana White's Side

Roy Nelson is a big, fat, bearded mess. He's also one of the UFC's best heavyweights.
Roy Nelson is a big, fat, bearded mess. He's also one of the UFC's best heavyweights.Ethan Miller/Getty Images
McKinley NobleCorrespondent IDecember 16, 2012

Roy Nelson is likely going to hear the criticisms for the rest of his career.

"Lose some weight."

"Trim that beard. You look like a homeless Santa Clause."

"Is he really drinking beers on the way to the scale?"

OK, maybe that last one just was me at the UFC 137 weigh-ins last year. But no matter what, all those eccentric qualities don't change the fact that Roy Nelson is currently one of the heavyweight division's absolute best strikers.

That's why until his chin or body starts to fail him, Nelson will keep winning fights and continue to be a thorn in Dana White's side.

In a sea of clean-shaven, muscular fighters, Nelson stands out like a sore thumb with his huge gut and enormous beard, both of which have gotten even more noticeable since "Big Country" started to truly embrace his appearance.

It's even more pronounced since Nelson has previously shown a more business-like side of himself, complete with a tidy haircut and clean suits.

When you think about it, it must annoy White to no end.

Perhaps if the UFC president could have had things his way, Nelson wouldn't have so thoroughly beaten ratings star Kimbo Slice during The Ultimate Fighter 10.

But things rarely go according to plan in MMA, and Nelson's rise is no exception.

Maybe Nelson's just acting out in order to mess with White, one of his most vocal detractors. Maybe Nelson just doesn't care about appearances anymore. Maybe that beard helps him absorb titanic blows from his heavyweight counterparts.

Either way, even with the occasional loss, Nelson isn't likely to lose his job as long as he continues to string together exciting knockouts.

There's simply nothing that Dana White can do about it.

"Big Country" has once again proven himself a cut above the middle of the UFC's heavyweight pack, and he's enough of a draw that he might be too valuable to let go after a single bad fight.

McKinley Noble is an MMA conspiracy theorist and FightFans Radio writer. His work has appeared in GamePro, Macworld and PC World. Talk with him on Twitter.

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