Roy Nelson (fighter)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Roy Nelson
Born (1976-06-20) June 20, 1976 (age 40)
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Other names Big Country
Nationality American
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[1]
Weight 258 lb (117 kg; 18 st 6 lb)
Division Heavyweight
Reach 72.0 in (183 cm)[1]
Style Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Shaolin Kung Fu
Fighting out of Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Team Country Club, Kings MMA
Trainer Boxing: Jeff Mayweather
BJJ: Renzo Gracie
Rank Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Renzo Gracie[2]
Black sash in Kung Fu[2]
Years active 2004 – present (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
Total 35
Wins 22
By knockout 15
By submission 4
By decision 3
Losses 13
By knockout 2
By decision 11
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: October 5, 2010
External image
Roy Nelson

Roy "Big Country" Nelson (born June 20, 1976)[3] is an American mixed martial artist who competes in the heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), there holding a record of 22-13. He won Season 10 of Spike TV's The Ultimate Fighter. He was the first and the last IFL Heavyweight Champion, competing for Ken Shamrock's Nevada Lions, and has also fought for EliteXC and BodogFIGHT. As of April 15, 2016, he is #10 in official UFC heavyweight rankings.[4] He holds notable wins over Brendan Schaub, Matt Mitrione, Cheick Kongo, Stefan Struve, Mirko Cro Cop and Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira.


Nelson was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and attended Cimarron-Memorial High School, where he competed in wrestling, football, and baseball. Nelson began training in Ark Wong's Ng Ga Kuen [5] Shaolin Kung Fu when he was around 16 years old . Nelson worked briefly as a warehouse worker in 1999. Nelson originally began training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under UFC veteran John Lewis in 2000 and four years later, Nelson began his own career in mixed martial arts. Nelson has been a long time student of Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Renzo Gracie, who granted him a black belt on August 26, 2009 and has competed at the Abu Dhabi Grappling Championships.[6]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Prior to Nelson's professional mixed martial arts career, he played rugby for the Las Vegas Blackjacks for two seasons (2002-2003).

Nelson made his professional mixed martial arts debut at a tournament on April 17, 2004. Nelson won both of his fights, winning the Rage on the River Heavyweight Tournament. Nelson compiled a record of 6-1 before being signed by the IFL.


As a member of Ken Shamrock's Lion's Den,[7] Nelson was asked to become a member of the IFL's Nevada Lions in 2007, and made his promotional debut at IFL: Oakland on January 19, 2007 against veteran Vince Lucero. Nelson won via TKO in the first round.

In the 2007 IFL World Grand Prix, Nelson became the Heavyweight Champion,[8] defeating Antoine Jaoude on December 29, 2007. Nelson successfully defended his title twice, before the IFL ceased operations.


After the IFL ceased operations Nelson took a fight with EliteXC on 10 days' notice against former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski. Roy Nelson lost via KO in the second round; however, controversy broke out over Nelson being stood up by the referee in the first round from side control, while staying active and working on a kimura.[9][10] He then went on to fight for Roy Jones Jr.'s Square Ring Promotions against Jeff Monson. This fight also ended in a controversial loss for Nelson. According to the TV commentators and most MMA media, Nelson won the bout. However, Monson was awarded a unanimous decision.[11][12]

The Ultimate Fighter[edit]

Nelson was one of the sixteen fighters in The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights.[13] He provided commentary on the show for multiple websites, including weekly Q&A sessions about each individual episode for USA Today's Fighting Stances[14] and a blog for[15] In his first fight of the show, Nelson defeated former street-fighter Kimbo Slice via TKO stoppage in the second round with repeated punches to the head in the crucifix position.[16] The broadcast was the highest rated MMA show in U.S. history with a 3.7 rating. The fight itself had 6 million viewers.[17]

In the quarterfinals, Nelson defeated Justin Wren in a two-round majority decision. In the semifinals, Nelson defeated James McSweeney via strikes in the first round again utilizing the crucifix position. He defeated Brendan Schaub at The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights Finale to become the winner of The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights. In the finale, Nelson knocked out Schaub at 3:45 into the first round with a right hook to Schaub's left temple and then hit Schaub on the ground with one punch to the face before the referee pulled Nelson off Schaub. With the win, Nelson earned a six-figure contract with the UFC.

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

In his first fight since The Ultimate Fighter Finale, Nelson knocked out Stefan Struve after 39 seconds in the first round at the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 21 on March 31, 2010,[18][19] winning his second straight Knockout of the Night Bonus.[19] Nelson was scheduled to fight Cheick Kongo, though the bout was cancelled after Kongo withdrew.[20] Nelson instead faced Junior dos Santos at UFC 117[21] in a bout to determine the #1 contender (after Cain Velasquez) to the UFC Heavyweight Championship.[22] Nelson lost by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27), but was able to withstand the varied attacks of dos Santos, becoming the first man to take dos Santos to a decision.[23] Nelson was scheduled to face Shane Carwin at UFC 125.[24] Carwin, however, had to pull out of the fight due to a back injury. Nelson was pulled off the card altogether.[25]

On November 14, 2010, UFC President Dana White announced that Nelson's UFC career would be on hold due to Nelson being contractually bound to another fight promotion. White declined to specifically name the promotion, but sources close to Nelson confirmed that Roy Jones Jr.'s Square Ring Promotions claimed to have Nelson tied down.[26] Nelson stated on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani that this is old news and that he is still able to fight in the UFC with no problems.[27]

Nelson faced Frank Mir on May 28, 2011 at UFC 130 and lost by unanimous decision. UFC president Dana White criticized Nelson's performance after the fight for Nelson's lack of conditioning. Nelson blamed a bout with the flu for his poor performance.[28] Nelson indicated that he has plans of cutting weight and fighting in the light heavyweight division at some point in the future.[29]

Nelson faced Mirko Filipović on October 29, 2011 at UFC 137 and won by TKO in the third round.[30]

Nelson next fought the returning Fabrício Werdum at UFC 143 on February 4, 2012.[31] He lost the fight via unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, and 30–27). The back and forth action earned both participants Fight of the Night honors.

Nelson was scheduled to face Antônio Silva on May 26, 2012 at UFC 146, but Silva was moved up to fight Cain Velasquez.[32] Nelson was then briefly expected to face Gabriel Gonzaga.[33] However, Gonzaga himself was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by Dave Herman,[34] who Nelson knocked out in 51 seconds. He earned Knockout of the Night honors due to his performance. Joe Rogan said on the live broadcast that "When [Herman] sat down on his ass, he had no idea where he was".[35]

It was announced on July 12, 2012 that Nelson would be coaching on the show, The Ultimate Fighter, against fellow heavyweight Shane Carwin,[36] with the two expected to face each other on December 15, 2012 at The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson Finale.[37] On November 14, it was announced that Shane Carwin injured his knee and wouldn't be able to fight. On November 15, it was reported that Nelson would face Matt Mitrione at the TUF 16 Finale.[38] Nelson defeated Mitrione via first round TKO.

Nelson faced Cheick Kongo on April 27, 2013 at UFC 159.[39] Nelson won the fight by knockout at 2:03 of the first round. The win also won him his fourth Knockout of the Night bonus award.

Nelson faced Stipe Miocic on June 15, 2013 at UFC 161.[40] Miocic defeated Nelson via unanimous decision. There was speculation about his MMA future because his contract was expiring, but Nelson renewed it soon after.

Nelson faced Daniel Cormier on October 19, 2013 at UFC 166.[41] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.

Nelson faced Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira on April 11, 2014 in the main event at UFC Fight Night 39.[42] After dropping Nogueira several times with punches in the first round, Nelson finished the fight via knockout with an overhand right.[43][44] The win also earned Nelson his first Performance of the Night bonus award.[45] Nelson broke his right hand during the fight for which he required surgery in order to repair.[46]

Nelson next faced Mark Hunt on September 20, 2014 in the main event at UFC Fight Night 52.[47] Nelson lost the fight via knockout in the second round.

Nelson faced Alistair Overeem on March 14, 2015 at UFC 185.[48] He lost the fight by unanimous decision.

After working as a coach on Road to UFC Japan, Nelson faced Josh Barnett on September 27, 2015 in the main event at UFC Fight Night 75.[49] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.

Nelson faced Jared Rosholt on February 6, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 82.[50] He won the fight by unanimous decision.[51]

Nelson faced Derrick Lewis on July 7, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 90[52] Even though breaking his personal record of most takedowns in a fight with 7, Nelson lost via split decision.[53]

Nelson faced Antônio Silva on September 24, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 95.[54] He won the fight by knockout in the second round.[55] After the fight, out of frustration with what he thought was a late stoppage, Nelson push-kicked referee John McCarthy.[56]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Submission grappling[edit]

  • Abu Dhabi Combat Club
    • 2003 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships Quarterfinalist
  • Grapplers Quest
    • 2003 Grapplers Quest Superfight Champion

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 22–13 Antônio Silva KO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Cyborg vs. Lansberg September 24, 2016 2 4:10 Brasília, Brazil
Loss 21–13 Derrick Lewis Decision (split) UFC Fight Night: dos Anjos vs. Alvarez July 7, 2016 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 21–12 Jared Rosholt Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Hendricks vs. Thompson February 6, 2016 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 20–12 Josh Barnett Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Barnett vs. Nelson September 27, 2015 5 5:00 Saitama, Japan
Loss 20–11 Alistair Overeem Decision (unanimous) UFC 185 March 14, 2015 3 5:00 Dallas, Texas, United States
Loss 20–10 Mark Hunt KO (punch) UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Nelson September 20, 2014 2 3:00 Saitama, Japan
Win 20–9 Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira KO (punch) UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Nelson April 11, 2014 1 3:37 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Performance of the Night.
Loss 19–9 Daniel Cormier Decision (unanimous) UFC 166 October 19, 2013 3 5:00 Houston, Texas, United States
Loss 19–8 Stipe Miocic Decision (unanimous) UFC 161 June 15, 2013 3 5:00 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Win 19–7 Cheick Kongo KO (punches) UFC 159 April 27, 2013 1 2:03 Newark, New Jersey, United States Knockout of the Night.
Win 18–7 Matt Mitrione TKO (punches) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson Finale December 15, 2012 1 2:58 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 17–7 Dave Herman KO (punch) UFC 146 May 26, 2012 1 0:51 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Knockout of the Night.
Loss 16–7 Fabrício Werdum Decision (unanimous) UFC 143 February 4, 2012 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 16–6 Mirko Filipović TKO (punches) UFC 137 October 29, 2011 3 1:30 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 15–6 Frank Mir Decision (unanimous) UFC 130 May 28, 2011 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 15–5 Junior dos Santos Decision (unanimous) UFC 117 August 7, 2010 3 5:00 Oakland, California, United States
Win 15–4 Stefan Struve TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Florian vs. Gomi March 31, 2010 1 0:39 Charlotte, North Carolina, United States Knockout of the Night.
Win 14–4 Brendan Schaub KO (punch) The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights Finale December 5, 2009 1 3:45 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won the The Ultimate Fighter 10 Tournament. Knockout of the Night.
Loss 13–4 Jeff Monson Decision (unanimous) SRP: March Badness March 21, 2009 3 5:00 Pensacola, Florida, United States
Loss 13–3 Andrei Arlovski KO (punch) EliteXC: Heat October 4, 2008 2 3:14 Sunrise, Florida, United States
Win 13–2 Brad Imes KO (punch) IFL: Connecticut May 16, 2008 1 3:55 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States Defended the IFL Heavyweight Championship.
Win 12–2 Fabiano Scherner TKO (punches) IFL: Las Vegas February 29, 2008 1 3:20 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the IFL Heavyweight Championship.
Win 11–2 Antoine Jaoude KO (punch) IFL: World Grand Prix Finals December 29, 2007 2 0:22 Uncasville, Connecticut, United States Won the IFL Heavyweight Championship.
Win 10–2 Bryan Vetell TKO (punches) IFL: World Grand Prix Semifinals November 3, 2007 3 1:01 Chicago, Illinois, United States IFL 2007 Heavyweight GP Semifinal.
Win 9–2 Shane Ott Decision (unanimous) IFL: Las Vegas June 16, 2007 3 4:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 8–2 Ben Rothwell Decision (split) IFL: Moline April 7, 2007 3 4:00 Moline, Illinois, United States
Win 8–1 Mario Rinaldi TKO (punches) BodogFIGHT: Costa Rica Combat February 17, 2007 1 2:38 San José, Costa Rica
Win 7–1 Vince Lucero TKO (punches) IFL: Oakland January 19, 2007 1 1:55 Oakland, California, United States
Loss 6–1 Josh Curran Decision (unanimous) BodogFIGHT: Clash of Nations December 16, 2006 3 5:00 Saint Petersburg, Russia
Win 6–0 Jerome Smith Submission (arm-triangle choke) FightForce: Butte Brawl 2 July 22, 2006 1 4:13 Butte, Montana, United States
Win 5–0 Milford Picklesimer Submission (rear-naked choke) FightForce: Butte Brawl 1 May 6, 2006 1 4:42 Butte, Montana, United States
Win 4–0 Michael Buchkovich Submission (rear-naked choke) World Extreme Fighting 17 April 1, 2006 1 0:56 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 3–0 Ray Seraile Submission (punches) PXC 3: Return of the Enforcer August 28, 2004 2 3:41 Mangilao, Guam
Win 2–0 Jerry Vrbanovic Decision (split) Rage on the River April 17, 2004 3 3:00 Redding, California, United States Rage on the River Heavyweight Tournament Final.
Win 1–0 Bo Cantrell Submission (hammerlock) Rage on the River April 17, 2004 3 2:52 Redding, California, United States Rage on the River Heavyweight Tournament Semifinal.

Mixed martial arts exhibition record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 3–0 James McSweeney TKO (punches) The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights 1 4:13 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Semi-finals.
Win 2–0 Justin Wren Decision (majority) The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights 2 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Quarter-finals.
Win 1–0 Kimbo Slice TKO (punches) The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights June 10, 2009 2 2:01 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Preliminary bout.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Fight Card - UFC Fight Night Barnett vs. Nelson". Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Roy Nelson - Official UFC Fighter Profile". Retrieved September 27, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Roy Nelson". ESPN.GO.COM. 2010-06-22. Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  4. ^ "Fighter Rankings - UFC ®". UFC. Retrieved 28 December 2015. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Introducing "The Ultimate Fighter Heavyweights": Roy Nelson". Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  7. ^ "Roy "Big Country" Nelson Profile". 2010-12-30. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  8. ^ "Flashback to 2003: Roy Nelson beats Frank Mir, Brandon Vera, and Diego Sanchez to be crowned Grapplers Quest Superfight Champion". 2010-01-18. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  9. ^ "Roy Nelson Interview". 2008-10-09. 
  10. ^ " Exclusive: Interview With Roy Nelson". 2008-10-08. 
  11. ^ "Monson takes an odd decision from Nelson". 2009-03-22. 
  12. ^ "Monson earns controversial win, Lashley smothers Guida at "March Badness"". 2009-03-22. 
  13. ^ "Vida e Saúde". Vida e Saúde. Retrieved 5 September 2015. 
  14. ^ "TUF's Nelson dishes on Episode 1". 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  15. ^ "Roy Nelson: Introductions". 2009-09-17. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  16. ^ "Kimbo Slice vs Roy Nelson Results". 2009-10-01. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  17. ^ Wrestling Observer Newsletter, October 12, 2009 issue
  18. ^ "UFC FIGHT NIGHT 21 RESULTS, PLAY-BY-PLAY, & PICS". 2010-03-31. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  19. ^ a b "Nelson takes 39 seconds to turn on the power". Retrieved August 7, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Cheick Kongo injured, no confirmation on Roy Nelson matchup, nor UFC 116". May 4, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Roy Nelson vs. Junior Dos Santos in the works for UFC 117 main card". Retrieved May 10, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Lesnar vs. Velasquez up next for UFC title; dos Santos vs. Nelson winner on deck". Retrieved August 8, 2010. 
  23. ^ "UFC 117 winner Junior dos Santos gets his heavyweight title shot". August 8, 2010. 
  24. ^ "UFC 125 official for Jan. 1 with Edgar-Maynard, Carwin-Nelson co-headliners". October 14, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Fight Update *Updated*". October 26, 2010. 
  26. ^ "White: Roy Nelson's UFC career on hold until outside contract issues resolved". Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  27. ^ "Despite Contract Issues, Roy Nelson Intends to Fight in 2011". 2010-11-22. Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  28. ^ "Contract issues resolved, Roy Nelson vs. Frank Mir targeted for UFC 130". January 7, 2011. 
  29. ^ "Big Country Nelson will 'die' trying to make 205lbs". August 16, 2011. 
  30. ^ Haber, Scott (July 13, 2011). "Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic vs. Roy Nelson Planned for UFC 137". 
  31. ^ "Roy Nelson vs. Fabrício Werdum slotted for UFC 143 in February". December 14, 2011. 
  32. ^ "Antonio Silva vs. Roy Nelson slated for UFC 146 in Las Vegas". March 7, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Gabriel Gonzaga fills open slot against Roy Nelson at UFC 146". April 23, 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2012. 
  34. ^ "Roy Nelson vs Dave Herman booked with Gabriel Gonzaga injured". May 2, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2012. 
  35. ^ "A Ranging Right". May 27, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Shane Carwin, Roy Nelson Named Coaches for 'TUF 16' on FX". 2012-07-12. 
  37. ^ "TUF 16 Finale, not UFC on FX 6, slated for Dec. 15 in Las Vegas". Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  38. ^ "Matt Mitrione Steps In For Injured Shane Carwin Against Roy Nelson At 'TUF 16' Finale". November 15, 2012. Retrieved November 15, 2012. 
  39. ^ "Kongo vs. Nelson added to UFC 159". January 29, 2013. 
  40. ^ "Roy Nelson and Stipe Miocic Added to UFC 161 Card". May 21, 2013. 
  41. ^ Shaun, Al-Shatti (July 22, 2013). "Roy Nelson re-signs with UFC, meets Daniel Cormier in UFC 166 co-main event". MMA Fighting. Vox Media. Retrieved July 22, 2013. 
  42. ^ Mike Chiapetta (2014-01-30). "Roy Nelson vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira set for UFC Abu Dhabi show". Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  43. ^ Gene Mrosko (2014-04-11). "UFC Fight Night 39 results: Roy Nelson knocks out Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in brutal fashion". Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  44. ^ Stephen Douglas (2014-04-11). "Roy Nelson knocked out "Big Nog" cold at UFC Fight Night 39". Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  45. ^ Staff (2014-04-11). "UFC Fight Night 39 bonuses: Clay Guida, Tatsuya Kawajiri nab 'FOTN' honors". Retrieved 2014-04-11. 
  46. ^ Dave Walsh (April 15, 2014). "Roy Nelson Broke His Hand on Big Nog's Head". Retrieved April 15, 2014. 
  47. ^ Staff (May 30, 2014). "Roy Nelson vs. Mark Hunt targeted for UFC Fight Night 52 in Japan". Retrieved May 30, 2014. 
  48. ^ Shaun Al-Shatti (2015-01-06). "Alistair Overeem vs. Roy Nelson slated for UFC 185". Retrieved 2015-01-07. 
  49. ^ Damon Martin (2015-05-14). "Josh Barnett vs. Roy Nelson headlines UFC's return to Japan". Retrieved 2015-05-14. 
  50. ^ "UFC Fight Night 82 adds Nelson-Rosholt". 2015-12-13. Retrieved 2015-12-13. 
  51. ^ Ben Fowlkes (2016-02-06). "UFC Fight Night 82 results: Roy Nelson tops Jared Rosholt for first decision win since 2007". Retrieved 2016-02-06. 
  52. ^ Adam Hill (2016-04-29). "Roy Nelson to fight Derrick Lewis on July 7 in Las Vegas". Retrieved 2016-04-29. 
  53. ^ "Twitter reacts to Derrick Lewis' split-decision over Roy Nelson at UFC Fight Night 90". 2016-07-08. Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  54. ^ Dann Stupp (2016-08-03). "Roy Nelson vs. Antonio Silva added to UFC Fight Night 95 in Brazil". mmajunkie. Retrieved 2016-08-03. 
  55. ^ Steven Marrocco (2016-09-25). "UFC Fight Night 95 results: Roy Nelson blasts 'Bigfoot' for second-round KO, then blasts ref McCarthy". Retrieved 2016-09-25. 
  56. ^ Martin, Damon. "Roy Nelson KOs 'Bigfoot' Silva, pushes referee after stoppage". Retrieved 2016-09-25. 

External links[edit]

New championship 1st IFL Heavyweight Champion
December 29, 2007 – July 31, 2008
Succeeded by
IFL ceased operations