It’s no secret that UFC president Dana White and former Ultimate Fighter winner Roy Nelson have had their back and forth conversations regarding his weight, his physique, and a myriad of other subjects surrounding his performances inside the Octagon.
A fighter who always seems to bring excitement to the cage, White stated in March that he believes Nelson could be a serious force if he ever decided to make the cut down to 205 pounds, and if he took fighting more seriously.
His admission about those factors, however, came after White stated that he was done trying to convince Nelson do change anything at this point.
“I’m done. I’m done with it. I’ve encouraged him to shave his face and cut his hair too, but he doesn’t want to listen to that either. Whatever,” White said.
The UFC president insists there’s no bad feelings between he and Nelson, but it’s hard to ignore with those kinds of statements that he wishes the Las Vegas based heavyweight would change some things in his life to make him a better competitor.
“What because he’s a fighter? Because he’s a coach? Because, I don’t understand why?” Nelson answered when asked by MMAWeekly Radio if he took White’s criticisms to heart.
“The only person you should actually listen to is the fans to a certain degree, cause they’re the ones that actually pays his bills and my bills. If there wasn’t fans, there would be no UFC.”
Nelson says that his duty as a fighter is to please the fans who are paying the money to see him compete, and if they are happy with what they’re getting then he’s happy to provide it for them.
“The thing is fans want to watch you fight. I mean, look at Floyd (Mayweather). People want to see you fight. If people want to watch you fight you’re always going to have a job. That’s the one thing in this business, it’s entertainment. You aren’t entertained, don’t watch,” said Nelson.
“I think Dana says it best. He’s like, ‘if you don’t (expletive) want it, don’t watch it,’ but people want to watch it, so they keep paying.”
Nelson has been a part of many great performances in the UFC, with several bonuses handed to the former IFL fighter when the night was over. Still, despite his devotion to pleasing the fans and putting on exciting fights, winning does still make all the difference.
As he heads into his fight with Dave Herman at UFC 146 this weekend, Nelson knows that exciting or not, he wants to win and so does his opponent because there are no other guarantees in the UFC unless you’re a winner.
“From the fans standpoint and an entertainment standpoint that’s all that matters, but to me or Dave it actually makes a big difference if you win,” Nelson stated.
“We don’t get paid like baseball where you just get paid to show up and entertain somebody, or basketball or football. Our sport is even if it’s a (expletive) ass fight, people don’t get their money back; the UFC doesn’t give refunds.”
So chances are, entertainment aside, Roy Nelson wants to ensure he is still getting paid the maximum amount possible, and the only way to make sure that happens is to beat Dave Herman on Saturday night.
If it happens to also land him a “Knockout of the Night” or “Fight of the Night” bonus to boot, all the better.