Roy Nelson Tells Us About Leaving The UFC, Joining Bellator, And A Possible Heavyweight Grand Prix

Entertainment Editor
09.22.17

Roy Nelson has moved on from the UFC. After nearly eight years in the Octagon in a run started by Nelson winning the most-watched season of The Ultimate Fighter in history, he’s headed back to Spike, seemingly to finish his career. At 41-years-old, Nelson has just about every record in the book for the UFC heavyweight division, he just never got the belt. Now, with a new setting around him (and a promoter that embraces his personality and style), Nelson is looking for gold.

With Nelson, Gegard Mousasi and so many others jumping ship, Bellator is making a major push against a UFC that doesn’t seem to know what’s going on beside the next big superfight, while Bellator quietly puts together stacked card after stacked card. We discussed the change of promotions to Roy Nelson, who seemed uncharacteristically jovial.

So you have the UFC heavyweight record for cage time, you’ve absorbed more strikes than anyone, not only without getting knocked out but in all of UFC heavyweight history, is it bittersweet to leave a company that you have so much history in?

No, for me I think it was just a change of scenery. The biggest thing with the UFC with the new owners coming in and then Bellator with Scott Coker and Viacom and just be able to go back full circle cause Viacom and Spike — they’re the ones that kind of created our sport in the US, actually brought it to the public. So I’m just full-circling. Can’t wait.

You said when you signed in May you were ready to fight in June. Where does that excitement to work come from?

You know what, please and thank you just go a long way and it changes the whole environment.

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