Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson is riding a three-fight winning streak in the UFC Heavyweight division, with each victory coming by way of first-round (T)KO. The good run has put him back into contention in the UFC’s heaviest division, a far cry from when Nelson lost 3 out of 4 and Dana White publicly stated that he needed to make a change.

The hefty Shaolin kung-fu practicioner must have agreed, as he’s put losses to Junior dos Santos, Fabricio Werdum, and Frank Mir behind him. Nelson now wants a big fight, one that may not end so easily with a Big Country overhand right. Daniel Cormier and the heavy-hitting Mark Hunt are likely next opponents. Nelson spoke up about both of these options after his win Saturday (transcribed by ESPN):

“I want to fight the best in the world. And fighting Daniel, you know, he’s an Olympian, I’d like to welcome him to UFC.”

“As for Mark Hunt, if he gets past [dos Santos] that would be great. If he doesn’t, I’d still fight Mark Hunt because the fans want to see that one. “

“I’m all about making everybody happy.” 

Indeed Nelson has been making fans quite happy as of late with his thunderous knockouts. However, a bout with either Cormier or Hunt would most likely be a much more difficult fight and a true test of Nelson’s skills. He’s struggled with top-level heavyweights who constantly get in his face and utilize a high-volume game like dos Santos and Werdum did. He will also need to improve his cardio should he wish to contend with the former Olympian Cormier, as Frank Mir exposed Nelson’s gas tank in their one-sided affair.

Either way, Roy Nelson will soon have a marquee bout in front of him. Can he step up to the plate and truly ascend to the top level of the UFC?