Following the unfortunate news that UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao would be scrapped from UFC 161 due to a foot injury, an announcement was made that Dan Henderson versus Rashad Evans was now the main event of the June 15th card. And now, it appears that the UFC is making quick efforts to beef up the card, adding surging heavyweight Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson to the card to fight Stipe Miocic.
Nelson has famously been on a roll as of late, dispatching Dave Herman, Matt Mitrione, and Cheick Kongo all in rapid succession with first round knockouts. Miocic, on the other hand, will look to get back into the winning column after dropping his last fight to Stefan Struve at UFC on Fuel TV 5. The fight was confirmed earlier tonight by MMA Junkie, and may be the cause for UFC 161 having a rarely seen six-fight main card.
Nelson had been rumored as a potential replacement for Mark Hunt vs. Junior dos Santos, as Hunt had been involved in a highly-publicized struggle to get his visa in order to travel to Las Vegas. While the need never materialized, this recent announcement of ‘Big Country’s’ next bout may be the cause for excitement, but it does little to prove Nelson’s worth as a true legitimate title contender.
Miocic is a game fighter for sure, and only recently suffered his first loss. But he lacks a top-ten resume, and may actually stand to gain much more than Nelson actually would with a victory. So while fan favorite Nelson has been highly touted for his string of knockouts, one can’t forget the days when he faced truly top competition in JDS, Fabricio Werdum, and even Frank Mir. Those outcomes were not as favorable, and while I tend to agree that Nelson has upped his game since those one-sided affairs, it’s still difficult to label him a favorite against any one of those opponents. What is your opinion of this bout for Nelson? Does it truly get him anywhere?