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Roy Nelson Says Fighting Frank Mir Was His Best Prep for Cro Cop

Posted on by Damon Martin

Roy Nelson

Roy Nelson

Roy Nelson’s last fight may actually prove to be the best preparation for him to defeat Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic at UFC 137.

While Nelson’s bout against Frank Mir didn’t go his way, he still learned a few valuable lessons, none more so than what it’s like to fight a southpaw in the Octagon.

The former Ultimate Fighter will once again face a southpaw on Saturday night when he faces former Pride Grand Prix champion Cro Cop, and says that his time in the cage with Mir was invaluable.

“The guy that prepared me the best for Cro Cop was probably Frank Mir because he’s a southpaw,” Nelson told MMAWeekly Radio.

To the casual eye there may not seem like a big difference when fighting a southpaw versus a fighter with an orthodox stance, but Nelson is here to tell you that it’s a huge problem that even UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva found out about recently.

“It’s a completely big switch. Your angles are different, your punches come at a different angle, how you need to approach, and how you need to punch him is different,” Nelson explained.

“It’s kind of like Anderson vs. Chael (Sonnen). Anderson beats up all the orthodox guys, but as soon as he gets another southpaw it screws him up.”

Nelson knew that to get ready for a very dangerous kickboxer like Cro Cop, who also happens to be a southpaw, he had to go through a similar camp again this time, except he got to add one important piece to the puzzle.

Nelson’s last opponent, Frank Mir, also came into the gym to help him get ready for Cro Cop, adding some extra knowledge because he faced the Croatian not so long ago.

With two fights back-to-back against southpaws, Nelson might just start asking the UFC for that type of opponent because a switch back to an orthodox fighter could screw everything up.

“Going from southpaw to southpaw and keeping that the same, I just hope when I fight an orthodox guy it’s not going to screw me up,” said Nelson. “Fighting an orthodox guy is a completely different beast than fighting a southpaw.”

For the second fight in a row, however, Nelson gets to show off what he’s learned fighting a southpaw. The former Ultimate Fighter winner faces Cro Cop at UFC 137 on Saturday night in Las Vegas.


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  • joeh

    Hey Roy, Rich Franklin and Chris Leben…both southpaws.

  • sb

    Okay I don’t know about the Mir thing but Nelson is going to beat the snot out this guy. One pop on his glass jaw and down goes Cro Cop. Or better yet Big Roy Nelson BJJ blackbelt takes him down into the deep water where Cro Cop has no ground game to speak of. Kinda of reminds me of the Ben Stiller movie where he gets that big fat guys hairy sweaty belly across his face. Lol! without the hair of course.

    Cro Cop although I’m sure a classy and great guy had only one thing going for him back in the Pride days, his round house kick which was very lethal. But once everyone got the memo he kinda fizzled out. He never evolved.