Back in July, Daniel Cormier discussed how he planned to call for a light heavyweight title fight against Jon Jones after he was done roughing up Roy Nelson at UFC 166. Nelson, though, is looking to steal his thunder in more ways than one.
Speaking with Bloody Elbow, Nelson discussed his desire to do the same.
My goal is just to beat Daniel. My goal is to fight the champ. Right now, Daniel is in front of me, so I'm trying to beat him...in everything he does. I'm hearing that if he beats me, he's supposed to get a title shot at 205; he gets to jump to the front of the line. I'm all about jumping to the front of the line. My mode of thinking is that he's number 2, and if I beat him, my next step after that would be to fight for the belt, in either division.
Nelson, twice now, has gotten very close to title contention in the heavyweight division. He dropped a top contender bout to eventual champion Junior dos Santos at UFC 117, and most recently, he had an impressive three-fight streak of knockouts ended by an ugly decision loss to Stipe Miocic. Nelson, though, hasn't taken his eye off the prize.
Commentator Joe Rogan has long rambled that Nelson would be best served by fighting at light heavyweight. However, that has seemed to be a pipe dream, given Nelson's age (he is currently 37 and didn't join the UFC until he was 33 years old) and the fact that he has spent his entire MMA and Brazilian jiu-jitsu career at heavyweight.
That said, Nelson's recent weight loss, depending on the actual number on the scale at the weigh-in, makes that seem like a legitimate possibility.
Even with the weight loss, Nelson is a big underdog against Daniel Cormier. Cormier has had remarkable success against some serious UFC competition and has beaten three top-10 heavyweights in his 12-fight career. He is a world-class wrestler who, on paper, seems more than capable of outclinching and outgrappling Nelson without difficulty.
Still, Nelson has shown himself to be capable of knocking out anybody in the business.
They will meet at UFC 166 on October 19. Make sure to keep an eye out for more updates about the fight card as they become available.