It wouldn’t exactly be earth-shattering news to tell you that Dana White is not a fan of Roy “Big Country” Nelson. In fact, the President of the UFC has stated exactly that to pretty much anyone who will listen, time after time after “he’s a f*cking idiot.”
The fact that Nelson was one-half of the coaching duo at least partly responsible for the worst season of TUF in recent memory (at least ratings wise), surely doesn’t increase his stock in the eyes of The Baldfather, but with “Big Country” knocking out contenders left and right, it’d be insane to let him slip through your fingers, right? Well, according to DW, Nelson’s bout with Stipe Miocic at UFC 161 this weekend may be his last in the UFC:
UFC President Dana White used the contract circumstances as a way to explain the pairing of Nelson and Miocic, which looked odd when announced five weeks ago.
The fighters were headed in different directions. Nelson had just defeated Cheick Kongo and ascended to No. 5 in the heavyweight rankings two months ago while Miocic was coming off the first loss of his career and hadn’t fought in nine months.
Slated to fight newcomer Soa Palelei on the preliminary card, Miocic found himself promoted into the Nelson bout on late notice. It was a necessary move, according to White, because of the terms of Nelson’s contract.
“He’s on the last fight of his deal and we owe him a fight,” White said. “He’s not giving us any extensions.”
White reported that the UFC offered Nelson an extension that he turned down, prompting the boss to blast the fighter by referring to him as “the smartest guy on Earth” and “a (expletive) genius.”
Although White has had public beefs with fighters before, none of them have seemed as deep-seated and plain bitter as his current lover’s quarrel with Nelson. It doesn’t help that Nelson approaches his contract negotiations — and apparently life in general — with the attitude of a cynical, defiant adolescent, but “Big Country” does go on to make some solid points about White’s contradictory nature and fighter pay in general later in the interview.
A quick example of the former: If you were to click the “he’s a f*cking idiot” link above, you would be taken to an interview with White dated May 29th in which he claims that Nelson hasn’t earned a title shot because “You’re not going to get a title shot for beating No. 6 and No. 8. You have to beat the top guys.” Which is sound logic, except that just a few weeks prior, White promised that exact thing to Gray Maynard (ranked #3) were he to get past T.J Grant (ranked #7).
Clearly, White has an axe to grind when it comes to Roy Nelson. The problem is that rather than attempt to reconcile with his boss like a grown ass man, Roy has chosen to embrace to heel role and essentially commit career suicide. While Nelson may be able to walk away from UFC 161 with a moral victory, it won’t make his exit any easier to accept from a fan’s perspective. The man is a legitimate, unique draw who just so happens to be one of the top 10 heavyweights in the world, yet he appears all too willing to flush his future down the toilet for the sake of coming out on top in a pissing contest.
Is Nelson underpaid considering his talent level? You could surely make the case (FYI, Roy made 24k/24k at UFC 159), but then again, if Roy and fighters like him are fed up with fighter pay, perhaps they should try proactively solving their problems rather than continuously venting them to any two-bit journalist who will listen. You know who complained a lot without ever accomplishing anything? Hippies, and if Nelson wants to be lumped in with those unkempt slobs, well…*looks at header image and withdraws argument*
Personally, I loathe the idea of Nelson being ousted from the UFC, if only because it means that we will be treated to interview snippets wherein he claims that “I could have totally beaten so-and-so IF the UFC weren’t such cheapskates” for the rest of his career.