A gigantic heavyweight showdown is in the works as The Ultimate Fighter 10 winner Roy Nelson is set to take on the PRIDE 06 Openweight GP champion Mirko Cro Cop. With both men on two fight losing streaks, it could be the last time we see the loser in the octagon for the time being. The heavyweight tilt is scheduled for UFC 137 in late October.
A former IFL heavyweight champion, “Big Country” got off to a fast start in his UFC career, knocking out Brendan Schaub and Stefan Struve in his first two UFC bouts. He’s run into trouble in his last two fights though, dropping unanimous decisions to top heavyweight contender Junior dos Santos last August and to former heavyweight champ Frank Mir this past May. After the loss to Mir, UFC President Dana White suggested that Nelson lose some weight and abandon the large gut that he’s become known for. While we may not see a slimmer Nelson grace the cage in October, we hope to see a healthier and better conditioned Nelson, who was suffering from walking pneumonia the night he fought Mir.
Many thought the career of Cro Cop was over after suffering another KO loss to Schaub at UFC 128 in March. White said after the bout that Mirko was done in the UFC, but with one fight left on his current contract and the desire to still compete, it appears that he’ll be given one more chance to prove that he has something left in the tank. Once the most feared striker in the heavyweight division, Mirko has fallen on hard times in the UFC, posting a 4-5 record with four of his five losses coming by way of (T)KO.
UFC 137 is scheduled for October 29 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. Along with the “do or die” heavyweight contest, UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre looks to defend his title once again against former Strikeforce welterweight king Nick Diaz.