This is a guest feature by Duane Finley.
In the world of MMA media a fighter's place in the headlines can be somewhat of a catch-22. When the attention is warranted a fighter revels in the good news spreading of a job well done but when the information is vague and ambiguous it leaves an unsettled situation up for speculation. Those moments of unchecked speculation can lead into waves of forum boards, chat rooms and even headlines that eventually set the mark of validation on the situation. Outspoken UFC heavyweight and TUF season 10 winner Roy Nelson is square in the middle of this type of back and forth and rather than leave the issue alone to run it's course, Nelson chooses to speak up and set the record straight.
Nelson was originally scheduled to face former Interim champion Shane Carwin as the co-main event at UFC 125 on January 1st. After Carwin was forced to withdraw from the matchup due to an injury, Nelson sat idle as the UFC looked for his next opponent. Then the news broke that former champion Brock Lesnar was looking for a bout with Nelson and when he received word "Big Country" welcomed the opportunity. Prior to the reports that Lesnar wanted to fight Nelson there was speculation that Nelson would face Mirko Cro Cop or possibly Frank Mir but the UFC never issued any information to back these claims. Nelson jumped on the chance to fight Brock Lesnar and from his Twitter account pushed to make the fight happen. Unfortunately for Roy Nelson just as quickly as the Lesnar bout hit the headlines it disappeared as the UFC announced that Nelson had been pulled from the card entirely. Fans and the media alike were left in limbo as to the reasons but when UFC President Dana White came out with the story explaining Nelson was involved in a contract dispute with Roy Jones Jr.'s Square Ring Promotions all motivations became clear. White also confirmed that it would be some time before Roy Nelson fought in the UFC again and that is where the story left off in the eyes of the public. Other fighters would keep a low profile and allow the controversy to blow over but Roy Nelson has never been considered a "company" man. Rather than sit on the sidelines quietly Nelson has continued to push ahead citing the contract dispute as old news as he pecks away at Dana White for bigger opportunities.
I spoke to Roy Nelson a few weeks back and in the interview he addressed the possible fight with Lesnar and why fighting the former champion made sense for all parties involved. In addition to the talk about a possible matchup with the former WWE champion Nelson also indicated that he may have professional wrestling aspirations of his own. In short fashion the story popped up everywhere and before long Roy was heading over to realm of scripted entertainment. When the WWE news packaged with White's interview about Roy Nelson not fighting in the UFC confusion ensued.
More from Roy in the full entry.
Amidst the current storm of rumor and speculation I once again sat down with Roy Nelson and "Big Country" not only clarified the issues surrounding the recent dust up but also started a new campaign to become the next coach on the same program he championed "The Ultimate Fighter".
"A fan brought it up to me. Since Urijah Faber wants to do it and he's a WEC guy I figure I've been in the UFC longer and actually coached a lot of UFC champions so I said what the hell. I'll throw my hat in the ring since I have a little bit of down time," Nelson answered when asked about his recent TUF ambitions. "I think Brock would be a great opposing coach to do the season with me. Then we could all learn things together that would help us become better fighters. It would be great and just like Urijah said, I could teach him how to take punches in the face. I would actually love to fight Big Nog. I think with the time away he's had to recover from his surgeries and all it would be perfect timing. Then he could take some more time off to heal as he coached from the sidelines. Then there is also Shane Carwin, Frank Mir, Cro Cop...there are a lot of different guys but I believe Brock Lesnar vs. Roy Nelson would make for some very interesting TV. Plus I think Brock and I could do very well on pay per view," Nelson added. "What did Pacquiao's last fight do...1.5 million? I believe Lesnar vs. Nelson could definitely do 1.5 or maybe even 2 million buys."
His campaign to be the next coach on "The Ultimate Fighter" comes dead in the middle of an apparent contract dispute from a previous contract signed with Roy Jones Jr. and his MMA promotion Square Ring Promotions. With Dana White saying the old contract is currently and will prohibit Nelson from appearing in the UFC for some time I asked Roy to comment on the matters at hand.
"As far as I know I'm still with the UFC. Nothing has changed on that end. I will fight in 2011 and any contract dispute out there is old news. It has been working for the last eight months and with Christmas coming a lot of things can happen between now and after coaching The Ultimate Fighter. Santa always makes an appearance. Especially at my house because I'm a good boy," Nelson answered.
During our recent interview Nelson stated that if the Lesnar fight couldn't be put together then he would like to face WWE star The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Nelson is known for having a sharp sense of humor but the statement was taken seriously by other members of the MMA media. Looking to set the record straight on his possible involvement with the WWE, I asked Roy to shed light on his true stance with the WWE.
"I think WWE is a great," Roy responded. "I want to add to my acting regiment and I like to do stunts. I think the WWE is a great place for professional athletes. Floyd Mayweather did it. Mike Tyson has done it. Even Donald Trump has appeared in the ring. Rampage has even done an appearance so everybody out there who is saying they can't believe Roy Nelson would do that...Rampage has done it so why not Roy Nelson? I have just as much personality if not more than he has. Plus I'm bigger. I'm a heavyweight and he's just a light heavyweight."
There is little doubt that Roy Nelson's fighting skills are what brought him to the sport's biggest stage but during the recent turmoil it has been his sense of humor and strong character that's kept him afloat during this current period of uncertainty.
"A lot of things are going around and being said about this and that but really it's just like that movie Dirty Dancing with Patrick Swayze. Nobody puts Baby in the corner. If fans want to keep up with the latest "Big Country" news make sure you check outwww.roynelson.com or follow me on Twitter @roynelsonmma."