UFN 21: Dana White Has to Be Seeing Roy Nelson in a Different Light

Leon HorneAnalyst IApril 1, 2010

LAS VEGAS - FEBRUARY 29:  Roy Nelson white trunks of Lion's Den celebrates his victory over Fabiano Scherner red trunks of Team Quest during their Heavyweight title bout at The Orleans Arena on February 29, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In the last season of The Ultimate Fighter, Roy Nelson seemed like the black sheep of the show with a lot of talent and a lot of baggage.

Rashad Evans and his coaching staff deemed the heavy weight veteran Nelson as uncoachable, Dana White felt he talked too big a of a game for what he was showing in the octagon and he was the fighter to eliminate the biggest name on the show, Kimbo Slice.

It was pretty evident to fans of The Ultimate Fighter franchise that by the end of the season Dana White pretty much despised the former International Fight League heavy weight champion.

Dana White has called Roy Nelson an idiot, a moron and even told the media to interview him some time to find out how dumb he actually is.

To sum it up, Dana didn’t like the fact that Roy was winning his fights in the house convincingly, but by fighting safe and not putting on a show. He also didn’t like the fact that Roy talked such a big game.

One of the things that probably bothered Dana the most though was the image Roy puts out. For people who don’t know, Roy Nelson isn’t exactly the spitting image of an athlete. Roy looks more like one of the beer drinking, nacho eating fans that sit in the crowds or on the couches for the UFC’s events. Fighting at 265 pounds, Roy Nelson's six foot frame looks like it would be better suited for the light heavyweight or even middle weight division.

Dana has been trying to promote mixed martial arts as a legitimate sport and he can’t be faulted for that, unfortunately the fat kid Roy Nelson beating up ripped fighters doesn’t help White’s plight. But, Roy Nelson isn’t the only fat guy to have some success in the world of sport, every so often there is an exception to the rule and Roy Nelson is one of them.

Former NFL running back Jerome “the Bus” Bettis was a six-time pro bowl selection who weighed in at a whopping 260 pounds and he doesn't even stand six feet tall.

Bettis didn’t hurt the sport because of his weight in fact he was loved by the fans and did a lot for the Pittsburgh Steelers during his career. Bettis was a good role model in the sense that he was able to show people that you can be of all shapes and sizes and still be successful in sport.

Fat talk aside, The Ultimate Fighter season 10 is long over and season 11 is under way. As Far as Roy Nelson is concerned Dana White is going to have to change his tune on the chunky fighter. Roy Nelson not only won the six figure UFC contract in dominating fashion against fellow contender Brendan Schaub, whom he knocked out cold in the first round, but he has followed it up.

At Ultimate Fight Night Florian vs Gomi, Roy Nelson was slated to face off against up and coming young talent in Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve. The matchup couldn’t have been a bigger mismatch in terms of physiques: Struve is built like a basketball player at 6’11” and Nelson is the short, fat guy at 6'0" and 265 pounds.

One would have expected Nelson to take Struve to the ground and utilize his Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt to take home one of Struve’s long limbs. With the reach advantage of Struve it seemed like it was going to be a tall task for Nelson to stand up and exchange with “The Skyscraper.”

What did Nelson do? Roy came out firing in Mike Tyson like fashion, getting in past Struve’s reach and landing a huge right hand that floored Struve ending the fight 39 seconds into the first round.

For a guy whose path to the UFC was a long and unorthodox one, he is proving that he belongs in the promotion one knockout at a time.

After last night, Dana White and the UFC have to start taking Roy seriously after his first two fights in the Octagon.

It will be interesting to see what Joe Silva tries to put together for Roy next. Roy is definitely in need of a step in competition and one or two more solid victories against top competition should cement his position as a top contender in the division.

There certainly isn’t a lack of opponents for Nelson, Frank Mir is on the rebound and would provide the necessary step up in competition for Nelson. Gabriel Gonzaga will be pushing for a fight after his loss to Junior Dos Santos and Junior Dos Santos probably wants to keep his momentum going and would be a good matchup for Roy as well.

Antonio Nogueira is looking to comeback after his devastating loss to Cain Velasquez and Roy Nelson would provide him with an interesting fight as well.

Those are the guys the UFC should be considering for Nelson next, they are at the top of the division and these fights are as good for the other fighters as they are for Nelson in terms of moving up.

Nelson did call out heavyweight boxer turned mixed martial artist James Toney, but that fight doesn't have much upside for Nelson. If Nelson were to lose to 41-year-old boxer James Toney it would hurt his career pretty badly. Of course Nelson would probably win, but anybody with the technical boxing and knockout power of James Toney will have a chance against anyone he fights.

There are only two fighters in the UFC that look like very difficult matchups for Nelson, Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin, not because of their technique, but their explosive power and phenomenal strength.

The great thing about Nelson is he is well rounded and despite his physique he looks ready to challenge the best, he is a durable guy with a great ground game and knockout power in his hands.

Nelson can be likened to a Roman gladiator of the coliseum, in the sense that many gladiators were known to be a little chunky, eating a lot of Barley to keep on a layer of fat that protected their organs and arteries.

In any case, as awkward as Nelson is he is a serious competitor that needs to be taken seriously and it will be interesting to see who he is matched up against next. More interesting will be Dana White’s reaction to Nelson’s victory against Struve and the dominant start to his UFC career.