Why Does Dana White Hate Roy Nelson?

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Sergio Non gets Roy Nelson on the record re: his confrontation with Dana White on last night's TUF episode:

We've talked before about the dynamic between you and UFC President Dana White. In this episode specifically, he seemed annoyed that you wanted to go through every potential opponent's style, instead of just telling him who you want to fight? Do you think he had a point, that you should have just told him who you wanted to fight and left it at that? 

Not really. That's where the TV magic cut out (some context). When Dana asked me who I wanted to fight, I said, "I'll fight anybody."

And he's like, "No, you've got to pick."

And I'm like, "I'll fight anybody."

And then he's like, "Who do you want to fight?"

And I'm like, "Well, let's just go down the list. You pick who you think you want me to fight." And I went down the list (with) everybody's weaknesses, like how I beat that person or whatnot.

Then that's when he came back with the Kimbo comment, saying I wasn't that spectacular. And then I came back with, "Well, for the last nine seasons, that's what you've told every fighter on the show to do, is just get the 'W' and make sure you don't get hurt. I was doing what I was told the last nine seasons." So I was just being a good boy. 

And it just made sense. You could even see it on Dana's face afterwards, where when I explained myself, I just made sense. You can't argue with sense. 

Why do you think he gets bugged by you so much? 

I really don't know. That's something you'd have to talk to Dana about.

Poor Roy. Let's refesh our memory, how does Dana feel about Roy?

Roy Nelson is a moron. Interview him sometime, you'll find out. Roy Nelson is an idiot, he's a complete jackass.

Dana's reasons are probably business-oriented. Here's a speculative list:

  • Roy's hard to market. He just doesn't look impressive. It would take a massive investment in marketing just to explain to people no really, this slobby looking fat guy is actually a very skilled and well-conditioned athlete. I saw Roy's CBS fight against Andrei Arlovski in a sports bar filled with casual fans. They were not impressed and he made Arlovski look bad too.
  • Roy beat the extremely marketable super-star Kimbo Slice before a huge Spike TV audience in a miserably boring fight. The entire mass audience left saying "Damn, that fat white guy just held Kimbo down, what bulls**t."
  • Roy's a dangerous fighter who really is a threat to beat all but the very elite of the heavyweight division. And even in a loss, he could damage the brand equity of any fighter who has trouble beating him. And most will.
  • The huge new audience that tuned in to TUF 10 to watch Kimbo will not transfer to Roy Nelson. If he lives up to expectations and wins the Ulimate Fighter contract, expect the weakest push a TUF winner has received since Travis Lutter won season 4.
  • Roy thinks he's all that. Roy's ego is commensurate with his accomplishments in MMA and since he's been frozen out of the UFC far longer than virtually any comparably talented fighter would have been (except Ben Rothwell) and hasn't fought in Japan, he's been feasting on weak competition and his ego has ballooned. Unfortunately for Roy, this really grates on Dana's nerves.
  • Personally I like Roy Nelson and enjoy watching him fight, but I'm come to realize that short of a major, very well-funded PR effort propelled by a series of dramatic victories over several scary monsters, he'll never be marketable to casual fans and needs to carry himself accordingly or face the wrath of Dana and have a foreshortened UFC career.


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