Daniel Cormier and Roy Nelson's age long feud will come to a conclusion this Saturday, as they square off in a Heavyweight attraction at UFC 166. Much has been said about Cormier's future in the division, or lack thereof, due to his interest in dropping to 205lbs. and fighting Jon Jones.
Recent photos of Roy 'Big Country' Nelson seem to show him in great shape, after struggling with a marshmallow man physique for many years. The beard is still in play, but we can let that slide if he has built up some better cardio. One thing that hasn't come under fire is Nelson's chin, which has withstood beatings from Junior Dos Santos, Stipe Miocic and Fabricio Werdum recently.
DC thinks that it may be time for Nelson's chin to break under the pressure, as he spoke to ESPN:
"Every person, every tough guy you've ever seen fight, whether it's in boxing or martial arts who is known for having a great chin -- there's an expiration date on that. There's a number these guys can take. What if the last one from Stipe Miocic was the one that was one too many? Maybe the expiration date on Roy's chin was up in Canada. Maybe mine are the ones he can't take."
We have seen fighters in the past that become more vulnerable to knockouts as their careers go on, Chuck Liddell is one that springs to mind. If it is the case for Roy Nelson, should he consider going back to his grappling roots instead of trying to trade with Cormier?
DC is known for having powerful hands and top level wrestling, but is his chin invincible? He may be flying high, unbeaten as a pro and eying some big future fights, but he is a Heavyweight right now. In the most KO prone division in combat sports, surely no man has enough to remain unclipped.
That being said, I would be very surprised if Nelson comes through with a KO win at 166. Cormier is the bookies favorite and on paper seems the right bet, but these guys don't fight on paper. The smart money may be on DC, but the biggest winners will come if Nelson is able to pull through.
“If I have the type of performance I hope to have next week, I’m going to get up there and ask for (a title shot) again. I’m going to continue knocking on that door and hopefully someone answers it. If not, I’m going to ask for a real important fight in the 205-pound division.”