By Elias Cepeda
According to UFC President Dana White, “Big Country”, with the help of Stipe Miocic, instead set a record that is incredibly detrimental to his own health.“Roy Nelson broke a UFC record tonight: 437 significant strikes absorbed without being knocked out. It’s a new UFC record,” White said.
We originally reported that number based on White’s statement. So did many other outlets, including MMA Weekly, Yahoo! Sports and MMA Fighting. A look over at FightMetric, the official statisticians for the UFC, however, reveals that Nelson absorbed only 106 strikes from Miocic.
White was probably using hyperbole to underscore a couple points about Nelson – how tough he is, how badly he got beaten, etc. – but it is telling that his 400 + strikes number didn’t strike many in the media as too far off.
Miocic knocked Nelson around that badly. And we’ve seen it happen before to the outspoken heavyweight.
Nelson probably should have taken a contract extension deal when it was offered to him by the UFC. He probably should not have fought Miocic just six weeks after his prior fight, a win over Cheick Kongo, and Nelson definitely shouldn’t be fighting in the heavyweight division.
Folks who respect and admire Nelson have been calling for the morbidly obese fighter to drop down to light heavyweight for years.
Forget all that.
Nelson has the height and frame of a tall lightweight or normal welterweight fighter. But instead of living a healthy lifestyle and fighting at, say, 170 pounds, the man has often had trouble of making the heavyweight limit of 265 pounds.
Roy Nelson clearly has a problem, and it isn’t just the fact that he can’t ever seem to be more than a punching bag any time he fights a top heavyweight – though it is related. The charismatic and gifted fighter has a consumption problem.
No kidding, right? But it’s time we get past the “haha, Roy is fat” stage and ponder for a second how sick he must be. For someone to be as large as he is, with the amount of exercise that he must do for fight training, he’d have to eat an obscene amount of food as a part of a grotesquely unbalanced diet.
Roy shouldn’t be in there with heavyweights. He’s just a welterweight with a gigantic gut, skinny legs and arms and a ton of heart.
We should no longer just admire Nelson’s heart, however, or be amazed at how well he does despite his self-imposed handicap. We, and more importantly he and the people who love him, should start thinking about the damage Nelson’s brain is sustaining taking so many blows from men who are so much bigger than he.
The fact that Nelson doesn’t get knocked out doesn’t mean that he isn’t getting concussed or suffering a great deal of sub concussive brain damage. He most certainly is.
Nelson isn’t competitive against the very best in the heavyweight division and he’s taking a lot of punishment insisting on fighting them. For either reason, or both, he needs to re-evaluate how he lives and at what weight he competes at.
Time isn’t the thirty six year old’s friend at this point. Unfortunately, his post-fight comments show that Nelson hasn’t learned his lesson. Hopefully Dana White, who expressed that he’s interested in bringing Nelson back after his contract expires in July, can help convince him to make changes.
“I want to get past this loss and fight,” Nelson said at the UFC 161 post event press conference.
“If Dana and Lorenzo [Fertita] want me to be in the UFC then hey, I’ll be knocking on Cain Velasquez’s door or whoever the champ is when I’m knocking on it.”