Roy Nelson Will Not Have to Shave His Beard for Fight with Daniel Cormier

Duane FinleyContributor IOctober 16, 2013

Jun 15, 2013; Winnipeg, MB, Canada; Roy Nelson before fights Stipe Miocic (not pictured) during their Heavyweight bout at UFC 161 at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

It appears Roy Nelson has already defeated Daniel Cormier in one aspect of their upcoming grudge match at UFC 166, as his signature beard will be in full effect this Saturday night in Houston.

"Big Country's" facial hair became a target of the undefeated former-Olympian-turned-mixed martial artist, Cormier, who filed a complaint with the Texas Athletic Commission requesting the former TUF winner be forced to shave or trim his beard before their co-main event tilt this weekend.

The 34-year-old Louisiana native cited a bit of gamesmanship in his attempt to throw Nelson off in the pregame buildup, but those efforts have been stamped out.

On Wednesday night's edition of UFC Tonight on Fox Sports 1, Ariel Helwani reported Nelson will not be forced to shave or trim his beard due to the athletic commission not regulating such matters. Cormier had filed an official complaint, but with the issue not falling under a category the governing body covers, the commission has no grounds to impose action on Nelson.

Bleacher Report reached out to the bearded heavyweight to get his thoughts on the matter. To no great surprise, the scrappy veteran was indifferent to the entire situation as he refused to feed into the distraction and put his focus on more important matters, such as the hospitalization of his trainer Jeff Mayweather.

"Some times there are situations where people have to listen, but I had more important things on my mind," Nelson said. "I had the worst camp of my career for this fight. I was more worried about Jeff Mayweather's health and him being in the hospital than Daniel and his bull crap. I'm a people person."

Nelson and Cormier have been trading barbs for the past several months, with each fighter landing jabs via interviews and social media.

The 37-year-old knockout artist publicly poked the former Oklahoma State wrestling standout for apparently turning down a potential matchup back in June—a charge Cormier deemed out of context, and the bout passed him by due to an injury he was dealing with at the time.

While Cormier couldn't sign on the dotted line to face Nelson back in the summer and was eyeing a drop down to light heavyweight, the situation provided the motivation for "D.C." to stick around the heavyweight ranks for one more go.

Nelson and Cormier will settle their differences on Saturday night at UFC 166 in a highly anticipated heavyweight showdown. 


****Story updated with Roy Nelson's reaction to the Texas Athletic Commission's decision not to intervene.

 Duane Finley is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes are obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.