We’re just two days away from the UFC 161 Pay-Per-View event, live from Winnipeg, Manitoba, as the struggling UFC Bantamweight division has left us without a title fight, and instead with a co-main event that features Rashad Evans taking on Dan Henderson and “Big Country” Roy Nelson facing “Michael” Stipe Miocic.
As we mentioned yesterday, the biggest news involving UFC 161 is the contract situation of Nelson, as he wants to be paid significantly more than the $24,000 base amount that he currently receives just for showing up. Big Country’s contract is up after this fight, and the popular assumption is that UFC President Dana White stuck the No. 5-ranked heavyweight in this meaningless match because he refused to sign the extension that the UFC offered.
That, of course, led to White dubbing Nelson “the smartest guy on Earth” and a “f*cking genius”, which Nelson took as a compliment. Yesterday, Nelson also admitted that he thinks Dana White doesn’t like him for an equally flattering reason.
“I think he’s star-struck,” Nelson (19-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC), who has been criticized by White for everything from his ragged, everyman appearance to his negotiating tactics, told USA TODAY Sports and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
“Some people get flustered when a bigger star is in the room.” (Via MMA Junkie)
I just want to say that if this is all just some ploy by White to fire us up about this PPV because he wasn’t able to get a title fight on the card, and he and Nelson have some under-the-table plan for Nelson to whoop Miocic’s ass before announcing that he’s staying put in the UFC as White comes out to shake his hand and deliver his new contract, I absolutely love it.
Especially because Nelson’s playing the role even better than White.
“Everybody wants to extend Roy Nelson’s contract,” Nelson says. “It all depends on if it’s a good contract. I know (UFC co-owner and CEO) Lorenzo (Fertitta) personally said he wants to pay me as much money as he can.
“I’m all for that.”
“Lorenzo and Dana White are in the UFC business,” Nelson says. “Roy Nelson is in the Roy Nelson business.
“You would have to talk to them about UFC stuff, but I can tell you the Roy Nelson business is doing very well.”
Of course, I am kind of sleeping on Miocic’s chances. After all, the guy fought three times last year and only lost to the red-hot (at the time) Stefan Struve. So maybe Nelson loses this fight because he’s sleeping on Miocic as well, and White ends up winning. I think most of us would prefer that not be the case, though.