Roy Nelson was going to fight for Pride FC years ago before the Japanese promotion was bought by the UFC’s parent company, Zuffa LLC.
But once it was bought by the American company, and the fighters began leaving for various other organizations, Nelson realized fighting in Japan wouldn’t happen.
“I would’ve done Pride in a heartbeat,” Nelson said. “I was on my way to going over there, but then the UFC bought it. Everybody jumped ship and went somewhere else.”
Perhaps if he made the move to Pride, Nelson’s upcoming UFC fight with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira would have taken place already. It’s a match-up that Nelson said he looks forward to because Nogueira is an “older breed” fighter. In other words, “Big Nog” is a guy Nelson said will try and finish the fight.
Nelson scoffed at the idea that fighting for a decision would be an approach he or Nogueira would use in a fight. It’s finishes he works for.
“The one thing about Big Nog is – [like all] the old Pride fights – all those guys came to try and finish the fight,” he explained. “It didn’t matter if it was a submission or [knocking] somebody’s head off, it was an exciting fight because they were trying to finish the fight. They weren’t playing the sport aspect.”
Nelson compared the conservative approach of point fighting and working towards decisions to running out the clock in football. Nelson said the industry demands excitement and fighting for points doesn’t provide that.
“That’s not exciting,” he said.
As with his previous fights, Nelson said he is looking forward to his UFC Fight Night 39 main event with Nogueira as a chance to get in their and finish. At the end of the day, he said, he’s there to entertain the fans by putting on an old-fashion slugfest.
“The thing I like about this fight or guys that are older breed fighters, they’re just fighters,” he said. “They just go out there to try and finish the fight. They understand it’s the entertainment industry. At the end of the day, I just want to go out there and fight.”
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