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Is Roy Nelson Ready for the UFC Heavyweight Division?

UNCASVILLE, CT - MAY 16: Roy Nelson (White Trunks) of the Lions Den celebrates after beating Brad Imes MilesTech Fighting System during their bout presented by the International Fighting League at the Mohegan Sun Arena May 16, 2008 in Uncasville, Connecticut.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
Brad BarrettCorrespondent IDecember 7, 2009

Roy "Big Country" Nelson is this year's Ultimate Fighter. It's probably not a coincidence that his nickname is also a brand of Pillsbury biscuits. His belly may have earned him his doughy moniker.

Despite his unwieldy physique, Nelson went through the Ultimate Fighter 10 competition like a hot knife through butter. Sweet, yellow butter. Mixed in with a big dollop of mashed potatoes.

Without a doubt, his experience played a large roll (get it?) in his success. Before throwing his hat in the Ultimate Fighter ring, Nelson had already thrown leather with the likes of Jeff Monson, Andre Arlovski, Ben Rothwell and Brad Imes.

Win or lose, he was already familiar with fighting in pressure situations. He had to know that, in all likelihood, no one he would face had the ground game of Jeff Monson or the boxing of Arlovski.

He had already fought and trained with some of the best in the business and so, squaring off against amateurs and journeymen would be like...well...he'd be on the gravy train with biscuit wheels.

But is Roy Nelson really ready to mix it up with the big boys of the UFC's Heavyweight division?

As Nelson's hand was being raised, I heard a comment from a fellow armchair spectator that made me stop and think. It was, "Brock Lesnar would punch a hole in this guy."

Most of the heads in the room nodded in agreement. It does seem hard to imagine Nelson using his "sack of sugar" ground game on a big, powerful heavyweight who knows how to wrestle.

Draping his ample belly over a grounded Lesnar or Mir or Big Nog won't have the same effect it had on Kimbo, who weighed in at a mere 212 for his catchweight bout with Houston Alexander.

By the same token, credit where credit is due. Nelson has both a solid ground game and good hands when he's standing. His cardio is surprisingly good and his strength has to be respected.

When he clipped Brenden Schaub on Saturday night, Schaub spun around neatly before hitting the canvas.

With the Heavyweight pool still being fairly shallow, what does the future hold for Roy Nelson? Will he be collecting milk money or is someone going to eat his lunch?

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