On Saturday, UFC 161 or “The One Without The Bantamweight Title Fight”, as I like to call it, will come to us live from Winnipeg, Manitoba at 10 PM ET on the ol’ Pay-Per-View. As always, we’ll be dishing and serving our own brand of MMA HOTT GOSS in one of our award-winning With Leather Live Discussions (go ahead and bookmark it right here). Perhaps the hottest topic of all come Saturday will be the fate of 36-year old heavyweight Roy Nelson, whose contract expires after his fight against “Michael” Stipe Miocic.
Since winning the Ultimate Fighter 10 tournament and earning Knockout of the Night honors in the process on December 5, 2009, Big Country has been 6-3 in UFC action, which has helped elevate him to No. 5 on the UFC Heavyweight rankings. He has also become quite the fan favorite, which is why it’s so strange that UFC President Dana White stuck him in this fight with a scrub instead of a contender.
Basically, Nelson and White aren’t quite seeing eye to eye when it comes to dollar signs.
“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.”
Nelson responded in a manner suitable to his quirky personality: He printed hundreds of T-shirts with the slogan and began selling them on his website. The “smartest guy on Earth” T-shirts are nearly sold out, according to Nelson.
“I just thought it was freaking humorous,” Nelson said. “It’s the best compliment Dana has ever said to me. We’ve got these fighter conduct rules about what we’re allowed to say, and I think the president and (CEO) Lorenzo (Fertitta) represent the organization so they’re held to a higher standard, and it was the best compliment anyone could ever say.” (Via the Las Vegas Sun)
Nelson believes that he’s the reason that UFC 161 sold out despite not having a true main event, so his reasoning behind holding out for better pay is that he’s only getting $24,000 to show up and fight Saturday night, and that only becomes $48,000 when he wins, not including potential bonuses.
Like any sport, you have to think about the plausibility of paying a 36-year old big money to keep performing at his current level, but my recommendation would be to require him to wear black sunglasses and a black leather duster while riding a motorcycle to the ring. It has nothing to do with his fighting success, as much as it means celebrating that mullet for everything it’s worth.
(Dana image via)