Roy Nelson has built a career off having an iron chin and brick-heavy hands that can—and have—settled the opposition in one clean shot.
Every fighter on the UFC heavyweight roster has the size and power to throw leather with thunder, but "Big Country" packs the force in his signature overhand right that can melt any fighter who is unfortunate enough to taste it. Since winning the 10th season of The Ultimate Fighter, the Las Vegas native has built a highlight reel of victims, and this past Friday at UFC Fight Night 39 in Abu Dhabi, he added legendary heavyweight Antonio "Minotauro" Nogueira to his list.
The former IFL champion scored one of the most brutal knockouts in recent memory when his right hand blasted "Big Nog" on the chin and turned off the former Pride and UFC interim champion's lights late in the first round of their main event tilt. While the victory and the fashion in which he earned it were two of Nelson's biggest career achievements, they came with a price, as the heavyweight knockout artist broke his right hand in the process.
Following the fight, news of the injury surfaced on Tough Talk MMA (h/t Bloody Elbow), but Bleacher Report was able to confirm the report via text exchange with Nelson. The Renzo Gracie black belt will undergo surgery to correct the break, and there is no timeline for his recovery just yet.
The heavyweight division has been on ice in the early months of 2014, as champion Cain Velasquez is recovering from an injury and high-profile bouts in the weight class have been sparse. Nelson's salting of Nogueira at UFC Fight Night 39 kicked off an interesting stretch where a collection of the biggest names in the division are set to get back to work in fights that are sure to shake up the divisional hierarchy.
With his victory over Nogueira in Abu Dhabi, Nelson reinforced his status as a major player in the heavyweight mix. He will draw another top name for his next outing once he is medically cleared and ready to return to action.
Duane Finley is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report. All quotes are obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.
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