As the favorite coming into The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights show, a lot of people put pressure on Roy “Big Country” Nelson to prove that he deserves to be considered a contender in the UFC’s heavyweight division. And despite some critics, most notably UFC President Dana White, Nelson lived up to the hype.
“I’m just happy that I won,” the newly crowned Ultimate Fighter champion told MMA Fanhouse. “I didn’t care how I won. To win the way that I did just worked out to my favor.”
White had been a persistent critic of Nelson’s throughout the season. However, Nelson noted that the President game him his props after the fight.
“He was still impressed,” said Nelson. “As long as I keep walking up those stairs and keep impressing him, I think I’ll be ok.”
“Big Country” later added that it didn’t matter to him how he won, as long as it was his hand that was raised at the end of the fight.
“The fight goes wherever it goes, to win with a knock out, it was great. But if I won by submission it would have been great, and if I won by decision it would have been great. My whole idea is to leave 120% out there. If a guy beats me, he beats me. But if I always leave 120%, I should win.”
Nelson was also all praise for his opponent Brendan Schaub, whom he knocked out in the first round.
“Brendan is a stud,” Nelson admitted. “He comes from the Greg Jackson camp and trains with Shane Carwin who’s waiting for Brock to heal to fight for the belt. I knew I was gonna have my hands full. When I stepped into the house, I knew I could be very competitive in the UFC. If it was Brock, Randy Couture, whoever I fought, I knew I could be very competitive.”
As for what’s next for Nelson, “Big Country” noted that he wasn’t looking to join an elite camp, and is open for any challenge.
“I’m happy with me house training, and apparently it works. You don’t fix something that’s not broke.
“I really don’t care who I fight. My goal was always to make my mark in the sport and one day hold the belt.”