We're a week removed from Stipe Miocic's shocking one-punch KO of Fabricio Werdum, which silenced the Brazilian fans and gave Miocic the UFC heavyweight title. Werdum recklessly tried to chase Miocic down during a striking exchange, and Miocic punished him dearly, sending him to only the 2nd knockout loss of his career.
In an interview with The MMA Hour, heavyweight KO specialist Roy Nelson suggested that the big occasion and the massive Brazilian crowd played a significant role in Werdum's performance. (Transcription via MMA Fighting)
"I think it was the Brazilian crowd of 45,000 people," Nelson said. "You're like, ‘Dude, I want to make some things happen. I want to make fireworks.' And when you do fireworks for the fans, you want to put a show for the fans, you just kind of sometimes get a little over anxious. I know that feeling."
Nelson gave credit to Miocic for landing the championship-winning punch, but was also brutally honest about Werdum's in-fight strategy and the sequence of events that led to the KO.
"I was impressed that he knocked Werdum out because I didn't see that coming, but at the same time, when you got a 240-pound man running at you, and you just stick your hand out, you're definitely going to hurt somebody.
"No, I don't think it was a lucky punch. I just think Werdum wasn't so bright because he was just very like, ‘just stand there, man. Just fight.' Nelson said. "He just ran at him."
Meanwhile, Nelson has an important bout of his own coming up on July 7th, as "Big Country" will face Derrick "The Black Beast" Lewis on the main card of UFC Fight Night 91 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nelson is coming off a unanimous decision win over Jared Rosholt, his first decision victory in his UFC career.
The full interview with Nelson can be watched at the top of the page, starting at the 1:30:10 timestamp.