Nelson needed just 39 seconds to knock out Struve (Photo by Josh Hedges, Zuffa).
The Ultimate Fighter 10 Winner Proves to be a Serious Contender
Las Vegas, Nev. (Sunday, April 4, 2010) – Upon first glance, it’s pretty hard to take UFC heavyweight Roy “Big Country” Nelson seriously. But after dismantling Stefan Struve this past Wednesday night in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 21, he has once again proven that he is a force who must be respected in the heavyweight division.
“I’m happy with the performance that I won, but I went back and talked to my trainers (after the fight),” Nelson said to SherDog.com after the victory over Struve. “You didn’t see what I’ve actually been working on for the last two months, but I’m glad with the W.”
Not that Nelson gave spectators much time to see what he had been doing in his training over the last two months. Despite giving up a foot in height, he needed only 39 seconds to dispose of Struve. In an odd occurrence of events, the lights went out at Bojangles Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, before the two fought, and it proved to be very symbolic of what the night had in store.
“I think it was a sign of what I had to do,” Nelson stated during his interview with SherDog.com. “I had to turn the lights out.
And turn out the lights he did. With the fight barely underway, Nelson delivered a devastating right hook to flatten Struve and score the knockout at the 39-second mark. While he stands only six-feet tall and weighs in at 265 pounds, the Las Vegas native comes to the UFC with a stacked resume. The former International Fight League (IFL) champion is a black belt in Brazilian Jui Jitsu and is well known for his superior grappling skills. When the IFL folded, UFC President Dana White gave him an invitation to compete on the Ultimate Fighter 10, and he quickly accepted. After winning via knockout over the likes of street brawler turned MMA fighter Kimbo Slice and English Muay Thai specialist James McSweeney, Nelson advanced to the finale against former NFL player Brendan Schaub and became the winner of the show after another first round knockout.
While his antics, which can consist of a belly rub after a convincing win or choosing Weird Al Yankovic’s Fat as an entrance song to a fight, may be a bit irregular, something that can no longer be laughed about is Nelson’s rank among the heavyweight division in the UFC. Outside of the ring, it can be pretty hard to take him seriously, but fighters have learned that you better take him seriously inside the Octagon. If not, you’ll end up the same way many of his opponents have in his career.
With the lights out.