by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Roy Nelson is gunning for a title shot, and he wants to get there through whatever fighter happens to be standing in the way. Even if that fighter is someone he believes should have already been fighting for the belt.
As Nelson prepares for his UFC 117 showdown with Junior Dos Santos, the winner of “The “Ultimate Fighter Season 10” pays his opponent the highest compliment in saying that not only should the Brazilian already be fighting for the title, he should have already had his shot.
“I think Dos Santos should have probably had a title shot before (Shane) Carwin,” Nelson told MMAWeekly Radio recently. “I looked at Dos Santos as a guy that should have already been fighting for the belt a long time ago, like two or three fights ago. So I think for myself I just want to fight the best in the world, and he’s one of the best guys the UFC has, so I figured it’s a good opportunity.”
When the UFC came calling to offer Nelson a fight with Dos Santos, it wasn’t a matter of whether or not he’d accept the fight. He says he’s there because no one else wanted to face him.
“Pretty much I didn’t really have a choice, and I think nobody wanted to fight Dos Santos, so I figured it was a good fight,” said Nelson.
Stylistically, Nelson likes the match-up with Dos Santos because he’s a fighter that will come in and try to take him out.
“He’s one of the guys that comes to fight,” Nelson commented about his opponent. “He has probably one of the most well rounded skill sets that we’ve seen, as in like quick hits, doesn’t get taken down very much, or doesn’t get taken down at all. Coming from the Black House camp and he’s knocking people out. He’s definitely a dangerous, dangerous guy.”
Admitting that Dos Santos is a professed striker, Nelson doesn’t like that label for himself despite eight career knockouts or TKOs of his own. He’s won his two official fights in the UFC by knockout as well, finishing both opponents in just over a combined four minutes.
Still Nelson sees himself as a grappler looking for the takedown, it’s just sometimes his opponents don’t cooperate with that strategy.
“I just try to hit them, and they just fall down,” Nelson joked about his knockouts. “I look to go for the takedown and then that just happens.”
On paper, the fight with Nelson and Dos Santos is an evenly matched contest with both having knockout power and tremendous ground skills. It could make the heavyweight tilt a candidate for “Fight of the Night” when it’s all over, but Nelson isn’t a fighter who would ever tell you that.
In fact, Nelson would gladly take a 30-second knockout any day.
“The guys that say they love wars, you can ask them 4 + 4? (They’ll answer) 9,” Nelson said. “If he falls down because I threw a jab, I’m happy.”
No matter how the win happens Nelson has heard all the talk about the winner of this fight getting a shot at the UFC heavyweight title, but he’ll wait for the contract before he banks on it.
“I’m keeping my fingers crossed, that’s what I’m hoping,” Nelson said about UFC president Dana White’s decree that the winner gets a crack at the belt. “Yeah, but he’s also called me an idiot more than one time, too.”