After his vicious knockout to Matt Mitrione, Roy “Big Country” Nelson stood inside of the octagon and pointed over to UFC President Dana White.
While he didn’t say it out loud, this could be a signal from Nelson that he wants a shot at the UFC Heavyweight championship, which will be decided in the rematch between current champion Junior Dos Santos and former champion Cain Velasquez.
Although signs point to Alistair Overeem getting the winner of Dos Santos vs. Velasquez if he beats Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, but I think Nelson has done more than enough to assert himself as the number one contender for the UFC Heavyweight championship.
Nelson is only one of two men – the other being Shane Carwin – who have gone the distance with the UFC Heavyweight champion. He has gone 5-3 in his UFC career, with all three of those losses coming by way of decision.
Despite having a rocky relationship with the UFC President, Nelson has been a company man. He coached on the latest season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Colton Smith, who was a member of Nelson’s team, won the competition, even though Nelson’s training methods may not have been conventional.
While Nelson’s tough chin and striking power have helped him during his UFC tenure, he also a good ground game, and I am not just talking about when he drops his bulky belly on his opponents and finishes him with his ground and pound. He has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Renzo Gracie.
Although Dos Santos beat him in 2010, a rematch with Nelson would not only spark interest with MMA fans who enjoy a good stand up war, but also could result in Big Country avenging the loss and taking the UFC title.
If Velasquez wins the belt from Dos Santos, a match against Nelson would not only be a classic in terms of striking, but also turn into a prototypical wrestler vs. BJJ fighter, if the fight gets to the ground.
Who should Nelson fight next? Should he face the winner of Dos Santos vs. Velasquez? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover with the hashtag #RantMMA