Roy Nelson obviously didn’t have the fight he was hoping for at UFC 130 against Frank Mir, losing by unanimous decision in the co-main event of the night.
Nelson struggled to deal with Mir’s size and power, as well as his wrestling, and by the third round the former “Ultimate Fighter” winner was noticeably gassed, but toughed it out until the fight was over.
The fight left a lot to be desired in the mind of UFC president Dana White, who seemed fairly unimpressed with both Nelson and Mir.
“Ugly heavyweight fight,” White stated.
Throughout his career, Nelson has never been the ripped gym specimen that so many fighters in the sport are, but he almost carried that as a badge of honor and was proud to be considered an “every man” doing great things in the sport.
Now with back-to-back losses, and the most recent one leaving a bad taste in Dana White’s mouth, Nelson will meet with the UFC brass to discuss his immediate future with the promotion.
“I don’t know,” White answered when asked about Nelson’s future with the UFC. “I have a meeting with him on Friday, and we’ll see what happens. I’m not happy about the performance from either one of them. It was borderline embarrassing.”
Part of the discussion that White might have with Nelson is about his weight and conditioning if he’s going to continue in the UFC. In the past, Nelson’s weight has never been an issue. He won the 10th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” as well as his first fight after the reality show, knocking out six-foot-11-inch Dutchman Stefan Struve.
Now with White’s ire raised after this last fight, Nelson might have to prove his commitment to continue fighting in the UFC.
Once chance encounter over the weekend may help to improve that opportunity.
While in Las Vegas during UFC 130, Nelson and his wife Jessy crossed paths with famed nutritionist Mike Dolce, who was there working with Thiago Alves, who also fought on the card. Dolce and Nelson actually fought in the IFL together a few years back, and have maintained an acquaintance, including running into each other during “The Ultimate Fighter” season that Nelson won as Dolce spent time as a coach on Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s team.
Dolce spoke to Nelson and his wife briefly, and while they didn’t decide right then to team up, the weight cutting guru who has worked with Michael Bisping, Quinton Jackson, and Thiago Alves, says he would love the chance to work with the UFC heavyweight.
Not only does Dolce believe he could get Nelson to be a better heavyweight, but he thinks if the Las Vegas native wanted to drop a weight class or two, he’d make it happen.
“In my honest and humble opinion, I believe I could help Roy Nelson unlock his full potential as an athlete, as a fighter, but also in health potential as a human being. I used to be 280 pounds, so at five-foot-nine I walked around 20 pounds heavier than Roy weighed in at the UFC, and now I’m 188 pounds this morning at six percent body fat,” Dolce told MMAWeekly.com on Sunday.
“I can get him down easily if he wants to be a chiseled heavyweight. I can certainly do that. If he wants to be a light heavyweight I can do that. I could probably get him down to middleweight depending on what his goals are. I could do it the most healthy way possible, extend his life, extend his vitality, all of those things. But in the short term take every possible advantage to get the utmost of his ability.”
Dolce, who lives in Las Vegas, is home for a few days after working with Alves for his last fight camp, and will be working with UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione next as he prepares for his upcoming fight against Christian Morecraft at UFC on Versus 4 in June.
Working with heavyweights is a special task for Dolce because he believes whether it’s Mitrione, Nelson, or anyone else, there’s a different mindset with many of the fighters who work at that weight class, but a challenge he gladly accepts.
“The heavyweight division is just filled with guys that walk around not paying attention to diet because they only think in terms of weight class, they don’t think in terms of longevity or athleticism,” Dolce stated.
The conversation between Dolce and Nelson at UFC 130 was only preliminary, but MMA’s top nutritionist would love the chance to speak further, and would be happy to work with him in the future.
“I like the guy, I’d invite him to my house to have dinner with my family, that’s the criteria for anybody I work with. Roy’s on that list,” Dolce said. “His wife was very pleasant and personable. They’re good people.”
Nelson will meet with UFC president Dana White later this week.