There are a lot of MMA fighters that come from different athletic backgrounds be it former collegiate wrestlers or football players, but Roy Nelson might one day look to become a two-sport athlete by adding professional wrestling to his resume.
“The Ultimate Fighter” winner was rumored a few months back to be in talks to join the WWE, and while the rumor was just random chatter, Nelson admits that he loves professional wrestling and could see a future there one day.
“That’s not a rumor, that could be a fact,” Nelson joked when speaking with MMAWeekly Radio. “What are you talking about done fighting? While I’m fighting, that’s the way to do it. We had Bo Jackson, we had Deion Sanders, we’ve got two-sport athletes. What’s wrong with doing two sports?”
Nelson grew up watching wrestlers like Hulk Hogan, Big Van Vader, and “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, and says there’s definitely crossover appeal between pro wrestling and MMA. He even incorporated a few moves when he started his jiu-jitsu training.
“All the way from when I was small. That’s how I was so good at jiu-jitsu, I’d bring professional wrestling moves into jiu-jitsu. They’d be like ‘where’d you get that?’ and I’d go that’s called a figure-four lock, this is what you call a Boston Crab,” Nelson said.
He even planned on busting out a pro wrestling move during his time on TUF 10, but he didn’t get the match-up necessary to make it work.
“I wanted to fight Zak Jenson on the TV show and that’s what I was going to do. I was going to win by Boston Crab,” said Nelson.
A few pro wrestlers have made the transition to try their hand at MMA with mixed results. Bobby Lashley is one of the more prominent names, as well as former WWE champion Dave Bautista, who trained alongside Cesar Gracie and his team to try and land a deal with Strikeforce.
The most notable of course is former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, who made his move over from professional wrestling and has become one of the most marketable and profitable fighters in the sport. Nelson is ready to flip the script and maybe try his hand to see if he could find the same success in the pro wrestling industry.
“As Rashad would say ‘I’m expanding the brand’,” Nelson commented.
Nelson is rumored to take on Frank Mir in his next fight on May 30 as a part of the UFC 130 fight card in Las Vegas. If he grabs the mic when the bout is over and says ‘whatcha gonna do when Big Country runs wild on you?” Nelson may give his biggest indication yet that pro wrestling is actually in his future.