Stand and trade with Roy Nelson, and wind up on your butt.
Nelson connected on numerous heavy shots against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Friday at UFC Fight Night 39, but none bigger than the right-hand that floored the former interim UFC heavyweight champion.
“Big Country” earned his 13th career knockout in the main event from Abu Dhabi. He is now 4-2 in his last six, with all four victories coming via finish.
“Anytime you beat Big Nog (it’s an accomplishment),” he said. “He’s a legend. Thank you. If it wasn’t for him, there wouldn’t be fighting in MMA. He’s the heavyweight (legend).”
Nelson (20-9) was preparing to go the distance with Nogueira, saying “my goal was to get a takedown and go five rounds. To push the pace.
“(The right hand) just happened. My right hand landed first.”
Following 2013 decision losses to Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic, Nelson is ready to start his way back up to the title. Even though he believes a different path is in order.
“I always want to fight for the belt,” he said. “Let me just start there and work my way backwards.”