Roy Nelson on Possibly Replacing Mark Hunt at UFC 160: “I’m Down to Fight Anybody”

UFC heavyweight Roy Nelson has been on a tear lately, racking up wins against Cheick Kongo, Matt Mitrione, and Dave Herman.

With his recent success, “Big Country” has established in himself as a force to be reckoned with in the heavyweight division. He attributes most of his good fortune to changes in his mindset and preparation for fights.

“I’ve just taken that money that I’ve earned with these bonuses and kinda reinvested in myself,” Nelson said during an appearance on ‘Inside MMA.’ “All the other times, I didn’t actually have the money to form a team around with me. … I’ve been working with James Johnson; I’ve been working with Jeff Mayweather. And pretty much the wrestling crew from ‘King Mo’ to Ryan Martinez, I just got a good bunch of guys around.”

Nelson (19-7-0, 12 KOs) looks forward to acquiring big fights in the near future, but his main focus is the UFC’s heavyweight title. He did seem a little hesitant when asked about possibly filling in for Mark Hunt — who is scheduled to face Junior dos Santos at UFC 160 — if the New Zealander isn’t able to make it to Las Vegas due to visa issues, but he didn’t rule out the possibility.

“I know Daniel [Cormier] wanted to fight me, so Daniel’s on my list, he’s on my radar” Roy added. “JDS actually wasn’t on my radar unless he had the belt. Right now, my biggest focus is Cain Velasquez and Bigfoot [Antonio Silva] — whoever wins out of that one. I’m just eyeing the gold, but I’m always down to fight anybody.”

As impressive as Roy Nelson has been lately, he still needs at least one win against a top contender before he becomes a legitimate part of the heavyweight title conversation. If Hunt ends up not being able to gain entry into the U.S. for his UFC 160 bout against dos Santos, Nelson — who lost a unanimous decision to JDS in 2010 — would be wise to rally for the open spot. It’s the quickest way to the title for Roy right now, as it’ll give him the opportunity to compete with the second ranked fighter in the heavyweight division.

David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 8 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter and check out his blog.


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