The man who probably has the most to gain from tonight’s highly anticipated edition of The Ultimate Fighter is the opponent of Kimbo Slice – former IFL heavyweight champion Roy “Big Country” Nelson. This past spring, Nelson found himself on the losing end of a unanimous decision to Jeff Monson at a small show in Pensacola, Florida. Tonight he will be a part of the most watched fight in the show’s history.
“When I found out Kimbo was going to be on the show, I thought it was awesome,” Nelson recently stated on The MMA Hour. “Just because it’s going to be the most watched season, and you know what? I’m on this season, so it’s a benefit for me because people watching him are going to be watching me. It’s just more exposure, more fan base. It’s just better business sense all the way around. So I’m just glad to be a part of it.”
While Nelson is happy to be a part of the show, he admits that he would have liked to have fought Slice before joining the show to receive the big payday.
“When I was in the IFL and he was with EliteXC, I really wanted to fight him because it would have been a big payday,” Nelson admitted in an interview with FiveOuncesOfPain.com. “He made about $500,000 in his last fight, so if we would have fought I probably could have made $150,000 – $200,000. So it would have been a great payday, as opposed to now, where we’re basically fighting for free.”
While many of the cast members, and fighters in general, have a lot of resentment towards Slice for his meteoric rise in the sport, Nelson confessed to not having that same contempt for Kimbo. Instead, if he had to, he would reserve it for UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.
“If we’re talking about paying dues; that’s the guy [Lesnar] that has never paid a due in his life,” Nelson said. “Just based on the amount of fights he had before getting his title shot. But it’s not about that. It’s all about putting butts in the seats. Everybody doesn’t know that, but that’s really what it is. It’s about making new fans and keeping the fans happy. The one thing that Brock and Kimbo have is a lot of fans. Brock brought the professional wrestling fans, and Kimbo brought the Internet fans.”
Nelson went on to reveal his strategy for his fight with Slice.
“My biggest thing with this fight was to take no damage, end the fight as fast as possible, and win,” he explained. “That was my gameplan going into the house regarding any of the bouts I may have ended up in. It didn’t matter if I punched the guy, or took him down. Whatever you had to do to get the W. It didn’t matter if it was the ugliest win on the show. As long as you got that win, that’s all that mattered. At the same time, you want to leave the bout with no injuries, and you just have to get it done. It’s not like a real fight. It’s not like you’re fighting for a payday. You just have to get it done, and then move on to the next fight.”
For the full interview with Nelson, click here. Don’t forget to catch Roy Nelson facing Kimbo Slice inside the Octagon tonight on Spike TV beginning at 10PM ET/PT.