Three years ago UFC heavyweights Roy Nelson and Matt Mitrione were teammates on TUF 10, heading down drastically different career paths afterward with Nelson’s season championship sending him up against some of the division’s elite where he experienced mixed success and Mitrione middle-tiering it while developing his still-raw skills. However, in two weeks the lives of Mitrione and Nelson will intersect once again when they face off in headlining action at the Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale.
Nelson recently offered up his thoughts on Mitrione, questioning why “Meathead” wanted to mix it up with him after original opponent Shane Carwin went down with injury, though also understanding his foe is far from the same fighter he knew back in the days of “Team Rashad”.
“I think he’s come a long way from there,” offered Nelson in an interview with MMAJunkie. “He’s a Blackzilian now, whatever that is. I’m not sure if it’s like a black millionaire or a black Brazilian or what. I’m still trying to figure out what that is. But he has a better record in the UFC then I do, and if you’re in the UFC, you’re the best in the world.”
Mitrione is 5-1 with all six of his scraps coming inside the Octagon, while Nelson has only compiled a 4-3 mark albeit against vastly superior competition including champion Junior dos Santos. Though “Big Country” would certainly like to get a shot at the strap around Dos Santos’ waist, his present focus is on beating Mitrione rather than anything beyond their December 15 fight.
“Right now, I’m just going keep plugging away and keep moving up the ladder,” said Nelson before playfully predicting what could be next after his match-up with Mitrione. “Roy Nelson-Shane Carwin III? I think it might look good on the posters. Maybe I’ll fight Antonio Silva. Whoever fights ‘Bigfoot’ seems to get a title shot.”
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC