UFC Fight Night Suffers Power Outage, Roy Nelson Lights It Back Up

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UFC Fight Night Suffers Power Outage, Roy Nelson Lights It Back Up
Al Bello/Getty Images

Get your groans ready because here come the puns.

Literally minutes after the Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night: Florian versus Gomi suffered a black-out, Roy "Big Country" Nelson lit up the night by touching Stefan "The Skyscraper" Struve's jaw.

The Ultimate Fighter champion from season 10 turned Struve's long legs into jello about 30 seconds into the first round of their heavyweight clash with a cataclysmic right hook.

Nine seconds later, the Skyscraper was officially rubble with blood pouring from some orifice—either nose or mouth—as Nelson prepared to rub his Buddha belly.

I could try, but why bother.

Nobody can out-articulate Joe Rogan during moments such as these: "That's some serious power from a big man."

A man with a gut that large does not lack for backside, so Rogan's observation is particularly bad news for the increasingly bloated heavyweight division.

When I surveyed the UFC's biggest brawlers about a week ago, I made a blatant and egregious error by omitting Roy Nelson from the discussion altogether. What's worse, I managed to spare some cyberspace for Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and Cheick Kongo without squeezing Big Country into my consciousness.

You could even argue Nelson deserved mention before Antonio "Minotauro" Rodrigo Nogueira. I'd say Big Nog was still a worthier inclusion if it were one or the other, but it isn't, so the point is moot and I'm an idiot.

Thankfully, the 33-year-old just righted that wrong and made me look abnormally stupid in the process. I guess it's possible he made me look no dumber than usual.

Regardless, the upshot is that the Las Vegas native most certainly deserves to be named amongst the serious players at heavyweight.

Everyone seems to agree that Brendan "The Hybrid" Schaub is a superb athlete and a bright up-and-comer at 265 pounds. Very similar things have been said about the 22-year-old Dutchman who took the loss tonight.

Yet, Big Country has sent both reeling—not only stepping from the Octagon triumphantly, but doing so in scintillating fashion on both occasions.

With his latest knockout of Struve, objective minds cannot deny that Nelson has inserted himself into the thick of the heavyweight title picture.

He's not up at the top with Shane Carwin or Cain Velasquez because, right or wrong, those two have separated themselves from the rest of the pack (you'll get no argument from me).

As the ladder of contenders now stands, it looks like Big Country should be headed for a date with either Junior "Cigano" dos Santos or the aforementioned Kongo. Both men are coming off impressive showings, while the younger Cigano is riding a six-win jag and is undefeated in his UFC career.

What makes dos Santos an even more intriguing opponent for Nelson is that the two gladiators share a common adversary in the Skyscraper.

Although the 25-year-old Brazilian on the meteoric rise looked more graceful in dispatching his lanky antagonist, the rotund one actually made shorter work of Struve by a whopping 15 seconds.

Man, it did look freak-show weird, though.

To watch Nelson's short-roundness—topped off with a flaming red mullet-bred-with-a-mohawk—stalk the 6'11", apparently hairless beanpole, was slightly uncomfortable. The contrast made each look almost inhuman.

On this night, Struve proved to be the more mortal.

Against a guy like dos Santos, we'd get a better idea of just how far the couch-potato Superman might go.

One thing is for sure, my days of overlooking Roy Nelson are over.

If the other UFC heavyweights are wise, their's are too.


**www.pva.org**

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