Roy Nelson Talks On Kimbo Slice

Roy Nelson’s TKO victory over Kimbo Slice on Wednesday’s edition of The Ultimate Fighter went exactly like many observers of the sport expected it to.

Slice looked decent while the fight was on the feet, catching Nelson with several punches that looked to have “Big Country” reeling. But when he sensed danger, Nelson immediately turned to his greatest asset, using a small portion of his world-class grappling skills to control the hapless Slice on the ground and pound out a TKO victory.

The fight was underwhelming for many fans, especially those who hoped to see the bout live up to the hype. But for Nelson, the bout went according to plan.

“My game plan was to do exactly what I wanted to do,” said Nelson. “I called it the night before, pulled a Babe Ruth and called my shot, and I went in and did it. I couldn’t have done it better.”

UFC President Dana White called Nelson’s performance into question after the bout, saying that he did just enough to win the fight. Nelson agrees.

“I tried to take as little damage as possible,” said Nelson.

Nelson’s game plan earned him the victory and the chance to advance in the tournament, but it certainly didn’t earn him many new fans. Feedback to the bout has been resoundingly negative throughout the UFC’s fan base, and Nelson indicated that he’s heard the critics.

“It kinda cements me as the suckiest guy the UFC has ever seen, that I’m bad for the sport,” said Nelson with a laugh. “It’s kinda hard to take with what I did to Kimbo. People are saying I’m fat and out of shape, but it’s pretty easy to coach that. But apparently I’m the new measuring stick for suckiness in the UFC.”

Many critics, White included, have pointed out that Nelson wasn’t throwing power punches, but simply throwing shots in volume in order to earn the stoppage.

Nelson agrees, but says there was a good reason for his strategy.

“We were already friends before the fight,” said Nelson. “I didn’t want to beat him to a pulp. I just wanted to win the fight. I wanted to point out to the rest of the guys how I would win the fight and then go in there and do it. I wanted to put it in everyone’s mind that I could do what I want.”

Did Nelson see any major improvement in Slice’s skills since his days in EliteXC?

“I think his skill set is basically the same, but he’s a little bit stronger. He’s always been a puncher and a striker. He hits hard,” said Nelson. “He’s talking about going to 205 now, and that all comes from a conversation we had after the fight. He doesn’t have a chance at heavyweight because we’re more well-rounded than the light heavyweight guys. He should drop down. He’ll find more guys there who are willing to stand and bang with him.”

Does Nelson want to see Slice continue with mixed martial arts?

“Yeah. He brings a whole new audience. I can’t wait until Tom Cruise breaks into MMA,” said Nelson. “He definitely brings eyes to the sport. I actually offered to train him on the ground, to teach him some jiu-jitsu and wrestling.”

Nelson’s fierce independence and candor has been a major storyline in the earliest parts of the season. He’s been portrayed as a fighter who is tough to coach, but says that television editing has more to do with that perception than anything.

“I think that’s a TV thing,” said Nelson. “I actually met the coaches in the middle. They gave me a tongue-lashing, and I gave them a tongue-lashing. But they only show one side of it. They didn’t understand my personality. Once they understood what I was doing and why I was doing it, they understood.”

Nelson has fought around the world, but he’s now a part of the world’s biggest fight organization. Nelson’s penchant for speaking his mind won’t earn him many fans within the company, but he doesn’t care.

“As long as you are speaking the truth, you’re okay. I’m not giving you propaganda,” said Nelson. “If you speak the truth, you can’t get in trouble. The truth is a beautiful thing.”