Heavyweight Roy Nelson Belongs To Exclusive Club of UFC Big Hitters

By Luke Schmaltz
Roy "Big Country" Nelson
Tom Szczerbowski – USA TODAY Sports

His big overhand right arcs through the air and connects somewhere in the facial or cranial area of his opponent, and that man is never the same for the remainder of the bout.

Roy Nelson has a particularly compelling talent for a guy who calls himself “Big Country”: the ability to compete at a high level in MMA, a sport that tends to favor those of a rather lean physique. He is a “big” man in the classic sense of the word – rotund, jolly and 100 percent unapologetic about his weight.

When one of his lethal haymakers lays an opponent to waste, he is known to leap to the top of the cage, grab both sides of his belly and jostle it for the crowd. It’s a sort of victory celebration of the triumph of personality over physics and sheer will over unfavorable odds.

Nelson won The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights in a final bout against Brendan Schaub that awarded him a six-figure contract with the UFC. He holds a black belt in Shaolin Kung Fu and Brazilian jiu-jitsu and is a one time winner of the UFC’s Fight of the Night award and four-time winner of the UFC’s knockout of the night award. His current UFC stats also show 19 wins, nine losses and fighting weight of 249 pounds.

Nelson is not the only big fellow to stack up impressive numbers in the world of professional sports. Hefty men have made huge impressions in other arenas, proving that the guy with the ripped physique and the low body fat ratio is not always the last man standing.  That said, Nelson may be the only knockout artist of his type to have found success under the bright lights of the UFC, and his triumphs in the Octagon put him in an exclusive class of the promotion’s big hitters.

Moreover, Nelson is a fan favorite, and will showcase his talents against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the upcoming UFC Fight Night 39. Not everyone admires Nelson, namely UFC president Dana White. White is a critic of the fighter’s physique and regularly accuses him of saying “stupid” things to the press.

Whether Nelson’s right hand will guide him to victory, or whether he will again invoke the wrath of White is anyone’s guess. Either way, one thing is for sure: Big Country always puts on a big show.

Luke Schmaltz is a Combat Sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @lukeschmaltz, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google 

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