Nelson Out to Establish Himself in Title Picture with Win Over Mir

Big Country
TUF 10 winner ready to capitalize on shifts in heavyweight landscape

Roy Nelson always makes things interesting.

The former IFL champion and Ultimate Fighter winner has established himself as one of the most entertaining fighters outside of the Octagon and a force to be reckoned with inside of the cage.

Nelson’s unique blend of straight talk and humor often pushes the envelope and garners a great deal of attention within the MMA community. This weekend, the guy with the big belly and very good bad hair meets fellow Las Vegas heavyweight Frank Mir at UFC 130, and he was in fine form talking about the upcoming bout with HeavyMMA earlier this week.

“Everybody always says how great their training camp has been, so I’m going with the opposite and saying that mine has been awful. It’s been the worst training camp ever.”

The recent cancellation of the card’s main event between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard has bumped the card’s local heavyweight pairing to co-main event status. In Nelson’s mind, this fight has been at there all along.

“I was recently named the Nostradamus of MMA, so I can honestly tell you that when I first found out I was fighting Frank, I assumed it would be at least co-main event status. I’ve believed it to be that all along, so there is no added pressure with the move.

“This fight is just another day at the office for me, and I feel it is important to always be moving in the right direction. Brock pulling out and Carwin filling in against JDS actually helps me out because rather than having an extra fight, I’ll be waiting in the wings so to speak. I definitely think this fight has the potential to catapult me back into the title hunt.

“Even with all the changes and injuries that have happened in the division, I feel the weight class is more competitive than it’s ever been. Every fighter on the roster is chomping at the bit, ready to get at it and now that the landscape has changed, I know that I’m definitely in the top 5 of the division.”

The road to UFC 130 has been unusually quiet for the normally outspoken Mir, at least until recently. The former champion posted a picture of Burger King on Twitter with an “I just saw Roy” comment attached, poking fun at Nelson’s non-traditional physique. Never one to be outdone, Nelson posted the same message accompanied by a picture of his own.

“That was a picture of an emergency room. If he said he saw me at Burger King, then I saw him at the emergency room. Everybody knows if you eat Burger King, that’s where you are going to end up.”

The two men are among the best grapplers in the heavyweight division, and both possess power in their respective stand up games. While many fighters pick apart their opponent’s abilities in the pre-fight preamble, Mir and Nelson have been highly complementary of each other. Even in the week before the fight, that didn’t change with Nelson.

“Every part of Frank’s game is great. He is the best there is. He is a two-time UFC champion and that is one more championship than Cain Velasquez. Frank is the longest tenured UFC heavyweight and a living legend of the UFC heavyweight division. Frank is a true living legend.”

When asked if he believed Mir felt the same way towards him, Nelson responded as only he can.

“Actually, I really don’t care if Frank is taking me serious or not. To be honest I don’t even know if I have a chance against Frank. I think it’s so unfair; Brendan Schaub can call out and get whoever he wants, and I have to face a living legend. My fans keep telling me that I can do this but I don’t know. I don’t know if I believe it. He’s a living legend!”

If the anticipation of the Mir fight didn’t have Nelson’s name in the news enough, the 34-year-old garnered more press as the videographer of an exchange between fellow TUF 10 cast member Matt Mitrione and the Tito Ortiz.

The friction between the two broke out during the recent UFC Fighter ‘s Summit, and Nelson caught it all on film for the world to see.

“That video got over 150,000 hits in two days. I was right in the middle of that mess and got shoved out of the way, so I decided that I needed to tape it. I tried to be the voice of reason and tell them, `Come on guys, we get paid to fight,’ but they just kept yapping, so I grabbed my camera. Mitrione kicked off his sandals like he was a woman at the club taking off her heels, ready to throw down.”

With the interview coming to a close, Nelson wanted to make sure he acknowledged fans, both old and new, sharing how they can stay in touch with everyone’s favorite big-bellied fighter.

“I just want to say that I feel grateful that I get to fight the biggest legend in the UFC Heavyweight division. I also always want to thank the fans because they make it all possible. They can follow me on Twitter @roynelsonmma, Facebook and check out my website. Without the fans, MMA wouldn’t be what it is today.”

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