Roy Nelson is carving himself out a niche in the UFC as a guy just below the elite of the heavyweight division. Knockouts of Brendan Schaub and Stefan Struve were a good start to his UFC career but both Junior dos Santos and Frank Mir dominated him in their bouts. Now, looking to get his career back on track, Nelson faces Mirko Filipovic at UFC 137.
Brian Hemminger of MMA Mania had the chance to talk to Roy about the bout and his expectations for how it goes down:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): I know that this is the last fight on Mirko Cro Cop's contract. Is it in the back of your head that he might have nothing to lose, that he might try something different, try something crazy?
Roy Nelson: You know what? Anything is possible. The one thing you've got to remember, it doesn't matter if you've got one fight on your contract or 12 fights on your contract. You never know how long you'll actually be in the UFC. It doesn't, that's never a factor. I think as an athlete, a lot of people just go out there and they just want to win. As long as he wants to win, that's the thing that scares you about any athlete, the challenges of the other guy that wants to be better than they are and you just know you didn't bring your A-Game and he always brings his A-Game.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Do you feel confident standing with him? I know he's got that aura of being an amazing kickboxer, but all your last wins have been knockouts.
Roy Nelson: I feel standing, like I think I've stood up with some of the best heavyweights in the world. I stood up with Junior [dos Santos] so like, I think I might regress for this fight and go back to my roots, go back to my first five or six wins were all submissions. Maybe I'll regress in the chain of being an MMA fighter.