Roy "Big Country" Nelson didn't perform well at UFC 161. In his heavyweight matchup with Stipe Miocic, Nelson was slow, out of shape and thoroughly outclassed. It may well have marked both the low point and the end of his UFC tenure.
The one positive display in Nelson's showing was his capacity to absorb damage. While he mounted essentially no offense and really didn't put much of an effort into defending himself, the beating he held out against only served to grow the legend of his granite chin.
According to Fightmetric, Big Country absorbed 106 significant strikes from Miocic, a noted power puncher, and rarely looked to be on the cusp of unconsciousness. Taking such punishment is a half-genuine, half-dubious achievement, but it's hard not to be impressed—or at least amazed—with Nelson's fortitude.
Yes, Nelson's special talent was very much on display at UFC 161, and his willingness to eat strikes from Miocic culminated in a record-breaking accomplishment.
The feat, which spans 10 UFC bouts, is quite remarkable in itself, but even more so when you consider the laundry list of heavy hitters Nelson has faced.
Is Nelson done in the UFC?
Brendan Schaub, Junior dos Santos, Mirko Filipovic, Matt Mitrione, Cheick Kongo and Miocic all touched Nelson's chin, but none of them put him out. Add in that Fabricio Werdum landed 91 significant strikes on him, including a bevy of powerful knees, and the record is just plain staggering.
The record turns Nelson's chin from highly regarded to officially immortal. The question is, now that he is at the end of his UFC contract, will Nelson bring that chin back to the Octagon and build on his record, or will he journey elsewhere to frustrate knockout-hungry opponents?