Unless you’ve been living in a cave, or have had the unfortunate luck of being stranded on a deserted island without cable television, the most highly anticipated episode in the history off The Ultimate Fighter will be airing tonight at its usual place and time on Spike TV.
There’s going to be a gentleman competing on the show by the name of Roy “Big Country” Nelson. He’s a self described “fat guy”. A fat guy with a track record for being one of the most dangerous heavyweights in the sport. Now, this fellow that goes by the alias “Big Country” is set to face off with a well muscled former street fighter with a massive Grizzly Adams beard that is most commonly known as Kimbo Slice on this evening’s broadcast.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com recently had the opportunity to catch up with Nelson on the eve of what will undoubtedly be the most important and widely viewed battle in the history of his career, and quite possibly the sport as a whole. A fight that fought under different circumstances could very well have been the biggest payday either fighter had ever seen.
“When I was in the IFL and he was with EliteXC, I really wanted to fight him because it would have been a big payday,” explained Nelson. “He made about $500,000 in his last fight, so if we would have fought I probably could have made $150,000 – $200,000. So it would have been a great payday, as opposed to now, where we’re basically fighting for free.”
There’s no reason to dwell over the money you could have made, and no time for it in a house filled with predators with intentions of making you the prey. Roy showed up to fight, and as far as he was concerned, the sooner he got his feet wet the better.
“While you’re in that house you get so built up with frustration because of the lack of any type of release,” said the 33 year old Las Vegas resident. “You go into that house knowing that you’re going to fight so I think it’s better just to pop your cherry as soon as possible so that you can relax. I go into that house knowing that I may have three fights in five weeks, so I want to spread those fights out evenly over that time period because you don’t want to start having fights that are just back to back.”
Of course there have been many fighters over the last year or two that have extremely vocal in their criticism of Kimbo and his meteoric rise to fame after becoming famous for beating up hooligans on the Internets, but what may came as a surprise to some, Nelson shared none of that resentment.
However, if Roy WAS the type of guy that gets frustrated about certain fighters not putting their time into the sport, there would be a different target for his animosity. A guy that “Big Country” would personally love to pull the horseshoe out of his a** and beat him over the head with it, as he would explain, “If that was the case I should really be mad at Brock Lesnar.
“If we’re talking about paying dues; that’s the guy that has never paid a due in his life. Just based on the amount of fights he had before getting his title shot. But it’s not about that. It’s all about putting butts in the seats. Everybody doesn’t know that, but that’s really what it is. It’s about making new fans and keeping the fans happy. The one thing that Brock and Kimbo have is a lot of fans. Brock brought the professional wrestling fans, and Kimbo brought the Internet fans.”
Anyone that was paying close attention to the first episode of TUF 10 would have seen a few brief clips of Nelson and Kimbo in a sparring session during the tryout phase for Team Rampage. If you paid even closer attention to the segment one would further notice that, although just a sparring session, Slice appeared to be getting the better of the much more experienced veteran of the fight game.
So was their time spent training together accurately portrayed on the show? According to Nelson, you can chalk another one up to camera trickery in that one.
“I was actually dominating the sparring session beforehand because every time I moved away I was hitting him,” revealed Nelson. “So it was just a little bit of that…. movie magic. Kimbo wasn’t going 100%, and you can land a jab on Kimbo all day when he’s not going 100%. That’s when everyone was like, “Oh, I wanna fight him! I wanna fight him!”, because they all sparred him. I’m sitting there thinking, ‘Can’t you see he’s sandbagging?’
“When I was sparring with Kimbo I thought he was sandbagging for sure, and then come to find out…. that’s what he was doing. He was just sandbagging.”
Being that this will be viewed on such a wide scale, one could assume that both guys will be coming out trying to murderize one another, but you have to remember that this is basically a tournament format. An extended sixteen man heavyweight kumite where preservation of your health and ability to continue on to your next fight is almost as important as the victory itself.
“I’ve always made it a habit to use my opponents weaknesses against them, but in a format like this, you have to be a little more cautious abut what you do,” explained the former IFL heavyweight champion. “Instead of throwing the whole kitchen sink you may have to say, “Ehhhh, here’s just a little water”. Because the thing is that there’s been times that I’ve left it all out there and wound up breaking my hands, and that’s one thing on your mind; you don’t want to break your hands. You just play the safe mode, to just get the W.”
“My biggest thing with this fight was to take no damage, end the fight as fast as possible, and win. That was my gameplan going into the house regarding any of the bouts I may have ended up in. It didn’t matter if I punched the guy, or took him down. Whatever you had to do to get the W. It didn’t matter if it was the ugliest win on the show. As long as you got that win, that’s all that mattered. At the same time, you want to leave the bout with no injuries, and you just have to get it done. It’s not like a real fight. It’s not like you’re fighting for a payday. You just have to get it done, and then move on to the next fight.”
Make sure to tune it tonight, and don’t forget to keep supporting the fat guy.
“I just want to thank all of the fans out there,” said Nelson. “I really appreciate the support. Keep supporting the fat guy! Of course I want to thank TapouT, because I’m bad for the sport! Just based on my appearance, I’m going to change the look of the UFC! I also want to thank superaction.com.