At first glance most people would label Roy Nelson as somewhat of a doofus based on his rotund physique and flowing mullet. However, beneath the surface is an accomplished athlete whose focus is second to few when it comes to competition inside a cage.
Nelson has racked up sixteen wins in his career including those over Stefan Struve, Brendan Schaub, and Mirko Filipovic while earning a reputation for toughness along the way, only being finished once and offering current UFC heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos his toughest fight to date inside the Octagon.
This Saturday night Nelson will take on Dave Herman at UFC 146, approaching the 21-3 talent with the same attention he gives every opponent. While his strategy to beat Herman may not involve the word “squa-doosh”, it will involve another key aspect of a certain animated film featuring an ursine ass-kicker with a midsection similar to Nelson’s – kung fu!
“Kung fu is the root for, I’d say, 95% of all martial arts,” said Nelson in a preview for his upcoming bout with Herman. “I practice every day.”
Nelson has been training in kung fu since his teens, applying the techniques he learns at the Lohan School of Shaolin in his MMA career.
“Basically you’re just working on body positioning and body movement where you’re actually feeling their energy, and then try to manipulate that to your advantage,” explained Nelson, referring to a drill known as “sticky hands”.
“Working on the wooden dummy, you can work on striking. And you can also work on different grappling like grabbing the leg or pushing the hips away,” he continued, turning to another drill before referencing an exercise meant to sharpen one’s mental state rather than physical prowess.
“Meditation can help make your more mentally strong, especially during a fight. It slows everything down so you can kind of control the chaos.”
Check out the full preview below with other segments featuring Herman utilizing a unique trampoline/ball-game to up his conditioning as well as a look at the bout between Cain Velasquez-Antonio Silva:
(Nelson-Herman stuff starts at about the 4:00 mark)
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC/DREAMWORKS