As Brendan Schaub found out on Saturday night, it's not smart to underestimate the power of the belly.
The world flipped on the Hybrid just as he seemed to be settling in and getting comfortable—his confidence perhaps buoyed by landing a couple stiff shots after having escaped from underneath Roy Nelson's considerable and bulbous bulk. That's a trick neither Kimbo Slice nor James McSweeney managed to pull during their losses to the big fella on The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights.
In other words, you can't really blame the National Football League practice squad alum if he was starting to feel good.
Of course, that feeling didn't last too long. It and, incidentally, any other feeling in Schaub's body were pummelled from his system when Nelson went Big Country to the side of his adversary's dome. That big paw to the left temple was all she wrote.
The subsequent shot to the prone and unconscious combatant's jaw was simply window-dressing.
Nope, it's pretty much over when a guy falls face first into the canvas. They don't usually get up after that—regardless of whether insult is added to injury.
In the wake of Roy Nelson's second consecutive legitimate stoppage, coming on the heels of a less-impressive-but-still-sincere beating of McSweeney, it's time to pose a question that's been brewing ever since Dana White showed up on this season of TUF.
Why is the face of the Ultimate Fighting Championship so openly contemptuous of The Fat Man?
Whenever Roy Nelson came up during White's interviews on the show, he would always sneer and scoff his way through his swipes at Nelson. Dana isn't known for his verbal temerity, but even so, I've never heard him so unapologetically go after a UFC asset.
Either Big Country wasn't impressive, was too cocky, hadn't done enough to justify his bombast, look at the physique, etc., etc., etc. Even after the 33-year-old took home the six-figure contract by turning off Schaub's lights, Dana wasn't exactly gracious or contrite.
Cold would be the best description.
Don't get me wrong—not a word White said was untrue. Big Country didn't exactly blow anyone away on the show.
His victory over Slice was lackluster and his decision over Justin Wren was even more underwhelming. Furthermore, the big fella's greatest heights came in the now-defunct International Fight League and his best win is probably a technical knockout of the legendary Brad Imes.
Consequently, yes, Nelson's confidence is probably a tad unreasonable.
If Dana's always been this disgusted by false bravado and/or baseless arrogance, why is Roy flippin' Nelson the dude who brings it out of the UFC's president?
C'mon, the peacock strut seems like the third basic ingredient to most professional mixed martial artists: Step One—learn stand-up; Step Two—learn ground game; Step Three—learn to posture and preen like you're an all-time great the minute you win anything of the smallest significance.
You could make a persuasive argument the layer of self-delusional conceit is one of the primary defense mechanisms almost necessary for all pro athletes. If the abundance of it in the industry is any indication, that is.
Regardless, it's an undeniable FACT that Roy Nelson isn't the first and isn't the worst example of a fighter who perhaps believe himself to be nicer than he is. Nor is he the first of the UFC stable to act the fool on occasion.
Shoot, Dana seems to openly lust after Brock Lesnar, and you can make ALL the same arguments about the shelved Heavyweight Champion.
Not to mention that Roy frequently throws in a dash of self-deprecation, which is refreshing to say the least.
So is it the gelatinous gut? The untelegenic package?
The fact that Nelson sent White's Next Golden Goose home prematurely from the reality-program? That he seems unlikely to step-and-fetch-it with the same gusto that other fighters might?
Because, from where I sit, there's nothing wrong with Big Country's game.
He presses the action, possesses remarkable agility and skill (especially when you consider his size), doesn't seem to tire, and has now delivered thorough beatings on consecutive occasion.
Roy Nelson probably won't be wearing any UFC belts in the near future, but, again, that puts him in a crowded room with lots of genuinely scary and dangerous MMA practitioners.
Fighters who Dana White loves.
Why not Big Country?