Roy Nelson's Next Fight Will Be Against Either Daniel Cormier or Mark Hunt

Damon MartinContributor IApril 28, 2013

Apr 27, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Roy Nelson (white shorts)  celebrates defeating Cheick Kongo (yellow and grey shorts) during UFC 159 at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

UFC heavyweight Roy Nelson has punched his way into title contention with three knockouts in a row, including his most recent drubbing of Cheick Kongo at UFC 159 on Saturday night.

Nelson has long battled for a chance at UFC gold, and it looks like, with one more big win, he could be right in that enviable position.

Following his win over Kongo, UFC President Dana White said that for as much as he and matchmaker Joe Silva don't like to make fights on the same night as a card takes place, they are pretty sure they have Nelson's next fight already lined up.

"Me and Joe never talk about fights the night of the fights, but we talked tonight and we'd like Roy Nelson vs. (Daniel) Cormier, or Roy Nelson, if Mark Hunt wins, Roy and Mark," White said at the UFC 159 post-fight press conference.

Just minutes later, Cormier responded via Twitter to let his boss know he was more than happy to face Nelson for his next fight:

On Thursday, White had stated he preferred Cormier drop down to light heavyweight for his next bout. But if the former two-time Olympian isn't ready to make the cut down to 205 pounds, he will gladly give him the fight with Nelson instead.

"I still need to talk to Cormier, but Cormier just accepted this fight apparently," White said about a potential fight against Nelson.  "I said I'd like to see him at 205, but I also said he doesn't like that cut.  He'd have to see if he could do it."

Nelson has never been a fighter who enjoys playing his own matchmaker, so he is more than happy to sit back and let the UFC decide what comes next for him.

"I'm there, whatever," Nelson said when speaking to Bleacher Report.  "I want to fight the best in the world and fighting Daniel, he's an Olympian, and I'm more than happy to welcome him to the UFC.  Mark Hunt, if he can get past JDS (Junior Dos Santos), that'd be great.  If he doesn't, I'd still fight Mark Hunt because I know the fans want to see that one.  I'm all about making everyone happy."

Cormier would seem like the better candidate right now because he is fresh off a fight and victory over former UFC champion Frank Mir just last weekend at UFC on Fox 7.  Meanwhile, Hunt still has to face former title holder Junior Dos Santos at UFC 160 in late May before he could potentially be matched up for any fight.

Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.