Last night’s “UFC Tonight” featured a segment where Roy Nelson’s manager Mike Kogan spoke up to state that ‘Big Country’ stood to gain nothing by fighting UFC newcomer Daniel Cormier. Kogan wants his client to face Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva should he lose to Cain Velasquez at May’s UFC 160, or perhaps either Junior dos Santos or Mark Hunt. Both of those bouts are quite the high-profile matchups, but does that mean Nelson shouldn’t face off against Cormier? No. Let’s compare Kogan’s two hypothetical scenarios to fighting Daniel Cormier.
First off, I don’t think that waiting to see if Silva loses to Cain and then hoping for a matchup against Bigfoot is the right play for Nelson’s camp to make. Silva lost to Velasquez recently at last May’s UFC 146, and in devastating fashion. Sure he’s the number one contender right now, but people will clamor to call that ranking a farce if and when he finds defeat at the hands of Velasquez for a second time. That scenario could truly leave Nelson with little to gain.
Facing off against Either Junior dos Santos or Mark Hunt, regardless of the result of their fight at UFC 160, could be a great move for Nelson. Both are heavy-handed strikers who love to stand and bang, and although Nelson possesses an extensive BJJ pedigree, he’s preferred to let his hands do the talking for some time now. A bout between Big Country and dos Santos or Hunt would provide the fans with a bout almost guaranteed to bring fireworks to the Octagon, and it would also provide a healthy boost in the rankings for Nelson should he find himself victorious. However, he already lost to JDS, and it wasn’t that close of a fight. While Nelson would have much to gain with either opponent, I think Cormier would be a better opponent who could provide Nelson with a ton of momentum.
Why? Cormier has a ton of hype surrounding him. He’s in the news almost on a daily basis as speculation runs rampant as to who his next opponent will be. Plus he’s already basically accepted Nelson as an opponent, speaking out on Twitter last weekend after UFC 159. Sure, the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix winner may have lost a bit of hype with his somewhat underwhelming performance against Frank Mir, but truth be told, Mir never had a chance in that fight.
My guess is that Cormier will look a lot better in his next bout with his first trip to the Octagon over with. Is Nelson’s camp looking for an opponent that’s more tailor-made to Nelson’s current strengths? My guess is yes, because highly-skilled wrestlers who push the pace on Nelson are a lot more likely to give him fits than those who like to engage in knockout contests. Frank Mir knew this, and soundly beat Nelson by avoiding his thunderous right hand. I think that a win over Cormier would absolutely put Nelson into the immediate title picture at heavyweight. Would a win over Silva, or even Hunt, do the same? I doubt it. Beating Cormier, while definitely not an easy task, would do wonders for Roy Nelson’s career, and I think it’s pretty ludicrous for his management to claim otherwise.
And apparently, Nelson feels that there is much to gain, as he tweeted last night:
It appears that Roy Nelson and his management are at odds on which fight to take next for the popular KO artist. His management may be looking for a bout with a striker so Nelson can put his overhand right and granite chin to the test, but Nelson appears ready to tae on any man that stands in the way of a shot at the belt. Do you think that Roy Nelson has a lot to gain by fighting Daniel Cormier, or is it truly a bad move? Let me know your thoughts below.