By Elias Cepeda
Roy Nelson made history last night at UFC 161. No, he didn’t become just the second man in UFC history to score four consecutive first round knockout wins as I’m sure he hoped he would.
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.