October 8, 2010

Roy Nelson vs. Shane Carwin.

It’s a fight everyone is asking about, and some believe is happening in January. Roy Nelson is happy to accept the fight if that’s the one that’s offered him, but first he has to get his knee back in order.

During Nelson’s August fight with Brazilian Junior Dos Santos he injured his knee, which required surgery that put him on the sidelines for at least a couple of months. Nelson on Thursday explained to MMAWeekly Radio what happened, and the subsequent surgery to fix the issue.

“Really what happened, if you watch the second uppercut when I get hit, I kind of fall back weird and my knee just gives out. Basically afterwards just kind of went in and got it cleaned out, repaired, and some things kind of taken out,” Nelson said.

The surgery repaired damage to his MCL, and other minor details, but nothing serious that would keep the former “Ultimate Fighter” winner out for any extended period of time.

Right now, Nelson is focused on getting the knee back to full health before he heads back into training, and he’s even finding some celebrity friends to commiserate with while he’s on his comeback trail.

“I can do rehab; me and Lindsay Lohan hanging out,” Nelson said with a laugh. “I think I’ve got three or four more weeks actual rehab, and then hopefully it will be back to being 100 percent.”

As far as his return to the Octagon, Nelson stops short of confirming a January bout with Carwin, but does say that if the UFC decides to offer him that particular bout, he can’t see anything that would stop him from accepting it.

“You know what, I’ve been offered a couple people. If Shane Carwin’s the guy, I’m happy to fight Shane Carwin,” Nelson commented. “He is the UFC former heavyweight TV championship, real championship, title contender, so pretty much if you beat him you’re right back where you were, and he beat the crap out of Brock (Lesnar). So I think if I fought Shane, and beat him, then technically I’m just as good as Brock.

“I think if you can get past Shane that’s definitely a good win.”

Carwin is of course coming off a July loss to Lesnar, but not without the Colorado native putting on as dominant a performance as a fighter can have before falling short in a loss. Since that time, Carwin has been back home preparing for his return to action, and a showdown with Nelson sounds just fine to the Las Vegas based fighter.

Then again, Nelson has always been happy to fight anyone that puts him in title contention.

“I’m happy to fight that one,” Nelson said about the Carwin fight. “If you fight (Antonio Rodrigo) Nogueira, you always get a title fight. If Brock hypothetically loses against Velasquez I wouldn’t mind fighting Brock. Let’s see, who else is there? Cain (Velasquez), I wouldn’t mind fighting (Junior) Dos Santos again. I think you guys still have Frank Mir up there.”

The issue of Nelson’s health is the other major factor determining when or if the fight with Carwin would happen. Carwin stated via his Twitter account earlier in the week that he was planning on a New Year’s Day return to action, and Nelson believes that if his knee is good to go, that plan works fine for him.

“I basically want to put on a performance and at the same time I want to make sure I’m healthy enough, or if I’m not healthy enough, to still basically win the fight,” Nelson explained. “If I can be 60-percent to win a fight, then I’m happy to be at 60-percent. As long as I know what I have to be.”

Nelson has undergone knee surgery before and come back relatively soon. A few years ago when he was a part of the IFL, he had his knee operated on and came back six weeks later to pick up a win.

While he admits it may not be the smartest idea in the world, he’s just a tough guy to keep from wanting to get in there and fight. Nelson also explains, while taking a slight pot shot at Carwin’s recent woes against Lesnar, that cardio is really the key factor in his return, not the health of his knee.

“The last thing you want is to have acidosis. You don’t want to go out there and burn it all in the first round,” Nelson said. “I think that’s the first thing you want to worry about as heavyweights is cardio. I could give two craps about the knee. If I can’t breathe, it’s like getting choked. I’d rather be able to breathe and have no leg to fight on, then not be able to breathe and have two good limbs.”

The likelihood of Nelson being ready for January looks pretty good, because as he tells it, when the UFC comes calling, he has a hard time saying no.

“Technically, if the UFC wanted me to fight anybody next week, I’d fight anybody.”