The inflated, potbelly-rubbing Roy Nelson is no more.
Despite the massive beard still attached to his chin, Nelson is looking noticeably slimmer in the photo. It appears he is taking dieting and training more seriously this time around, which is something he hasn’t always done in the past.
A year ago, UFC welterweight Dan Hardy told Fighters Only that he cut ties training with Nelson due to a difference in opinion on training ethics. According to Hardy, he liked to train and Nelson “liked cake.”
I call him the ultimate underachiever. This guy, he’ll come to me and say, “I want more sponsors, I got this, that…” He’s got a mullet down to the middle of his back. …And a huge beard, a beard that almost covers the belly and that’s saying something. I always tell him, “Somebody’s going to want to put their company logo on that?”
…If the guy took his career this serious—[motions for tiny amount]—what will he be able to do? What could he accomplish?
Perhaps Nelson has finally seen the light.
Fans will certainly miss the potbellied humor if things stay on track. For some, Nelson represented the average Joe competing as a professional athlete. He shed the chiseled-out-of-stone, Greek god image of the modern-day heavyweight.
Still, Nelson is now 37 years old, and his window is quickly closing in the sport. It really comes down to how he wants to be remembered when the final curtains close and the swan song has sounded on his career.
Does he want to be remembered as an end-of-the-line, top-10 heavyweight who willfully became the butt of everyone’s joke? Or is he finally ready to shed the jokester image and make one final push to contend for a UFC title?