Nelson doesn’t sport six-pack abs. He often rubs his oversized midsection when celebrating victory, embracing the fact that his body doesn’t fit the typical fighter’s form.
“People that tend to be in our sport tend to abuse PEDs or performance enhancing drugs. So that’s the reason why I probably don’t look like the typical UFC fighter,” said the outspoken Nelson during a UFC 161 media conference call.
Nelson made his way to the UFC by winning the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter. He has emerged as a fan favorite, and part of that could be that he looks more like the average fan of the sport and less like his fellow fighters.
“I don’t know if it works in my favor,” he said about his body type.
Known for his grappling ability, one-punch knockout power and granite chin, Nelson’s fighting style may have more to do with his popularity than the way he looks. But his battle beard and belly have become his trademark.
Nelson takes on Stipe Miocic in the UFC 161 co-main event on June 15. He accepted the fight on short notice and while his outspoken nature sometimes leaves him at odds with the UFC brass, Nelson is still a company man… at least when it comes to short-notice fights.
“When the UFC calls you, you just kind of step up and you just, you know, say yes.”