When you ask MMA fans to list the best knockout artists of all time one name which will almost always be on that list is that of Roy “Big Country” Nelson. Debuting in 2004, Nelson has been a top competitor for over a decade in the worlds biggest promotions. “Big Country” made his big break on Season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter, a season he would later go on to win against Brendan Schaub via vicious KO in the first round. It would be a sign of things to come as Nelson would go on to knock out seven more of his opponents in his UFC career earning four Knockout of the Night bonuses, one Performance of the Night bonus and one Fight of the Night bonus. Though never breaking through the top five heavyweights in the division, he was one of the more known heavyweight fighters of his era and a huge fan favorite as he could finish any fight with just one well-placed shot.
News broke in May that the former UFC staple had signed a new multi-fight deal with Bellator in a somewhat expected turn of events. Nelson had won all but three of his last ten UFC fights, and it is no secret that he and UFC President Dana White have had their differences in the past, so it does not come as a surprise that he left for greener pastures. Bellator’s heavyweight division is by no means a step down for Nelson as it is one of the more stacked divisions in the promotion. Many fun and intriguing matchups await the new kid on the block, and it looks like Bellator’s heavyweight division is in for another shake-up as their heavyweight belt is vacant at the present moment. “Big Country” could very well be a new potential Bellator heavyweight champion given his debut this weekend is a successful one.
Roy Nelson who spoke happily this week about his decision to join Bellator will make his long-awaited debut this weekend on Saturday, September 23 at Bellator 183. He will be going against another hard-hitting heavyweight in Javy Ayala. Ayala, an exciting prospect in the division is coming off an emphatic 16-second knockout of former Pride FC fighter and legend Sergei Kharitonov. As the co-main event of the card, this heavyweight bout has all the makings of an instant classic as both men possess the power to end a fight quickly and spectacularly.
One would assume that with a win this weekend Nelson could very well be placed in a future title fight given his victory is a decisive one. There are exciting times ahead for Nelson and the whole of Bellator’s heavyweight division in a time of change with many new faces and old ones alike vowing for a chance to become king.
Does “Big Country” have the answer to all of Bellator’s heavyweight contenders?
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