by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
(Photo courtesy IFL)
In order for one thing to begin, another must usually end. Such is the case of the careers of the fighters who had been contracted to the International Fight League.
Three years after its debut, the company has ceased to be, and now many of their fighters have begun the process of finding a new home.
One of the more successful fighters to have transitioned to a new promotion is IFL heavyweight champion “Big Country” Roy Nelson, who recently agreed in principle to a deal to compete with the new Affliction promotion.
“We’re still filling out the minor details, but it does appear that way, yes,” said Nelson of his inclusion on Affliction’s Oct. 11 Las Vegas show.
“It’s going to be multi-fight, and I’ll be there as long as they want to keep having the best there.”
His main reason for joining the promotion is the fact that he has always strived to prove himself in the heavyweight division, and to do that he has to be where some of the top fighters in the weight class are.
“Affliction has the best heavyweights in the world, and I’ve got to go (there),” he explained. “The only way I can fight the best is to be where the best is.”
First up for Nelson will be a fighter who made his successful Affliction debut at their first show this past July.
“It’s going to be Paul Buentello,” he announced.
“He’s been around the block; he’s fought for the UFC heavyweight championship and been in there with the biggest names in there. He’s a gamer and he’s there to fight.”
This is the opportunity that Nelson has always wanted, and felt he’s been ready for, for quite some time.
“I’ve always believed that since I’ve been in the fight game. I’ve felt I could fight the best in the world, even if it was five fights ago,” he stated.
Speaking of his previous company, the IFL, Nelson believes it was a good place for him to gain the notoriety that ultimately led to his current situation to fight on Affliction’s pay-per-view events.
“They gave me some opportunities and a fan base where more people could experience how I fight and what kind of fighting style I actually have,” he said.
“It gave me an opportunity to hone my skills a little more, showcase them and the chance to go out there and display the best fighting that I have. Now, hopefully, I’ll just move up to bigger and better guys.”
Interestingly enough, not only does Nelson have his eye on the current heavyweights of Affliction, but another well-known fighter who has spoken about entering the division a couple of times over the years.
“The only side-track to the whole Affliction thing is, is that if Tito (Ortiz) does sign with Affliction, I want to be the first heavyweight he faces,” proclaimed Nelson. “If he can’t beat this fat boy, then he needs to stay down at 205 (pounds).”
First things first, however, for Nelson, his promotional debut in October; where he hopes to show the world that he is a legitimate contender in the heavyweight division and down the line add another belt to his collection.
“I appreciate everybody that’s stuck with me and kept on believing in me,” he closed out. “I can’t wait. It’s like an opportunity of a lifetime.”
“Anybody that’s out there that wants all the news, go to MMAWeekly or RoyNelson.com.”