As noted late last week, verbal agreements are in place between WEC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo and Josh Grispi to face off on the first WEC/UFC merged card of UFC 125. This dispels the widespread rumors that Mark Hominick, fresh off of a decision win over Leonard Garcia, would be the next fighter up for Aldo.
The Ultimate Fighter season ten winner and MMA veteran Roy “Big Country” Nelson was originally scheduled to face Shane Carwin on the card, with whom he had been developing a tepid online feud, however Carwin had to withdraw from the fight with a back injury. While Mirko Cro Cop threw his name in the hat to replace Carwin, the UFC apparently decided against the proposed match-up. Nelson had been rehabbing his knee hoping to make the fight, and was understandably upset by being pulled from the card altogether.
“This is one of the biggest cards of the year, and I was in the co-main event, and I was really trying to make sure my knee was better,” Nelson recently told Sherdog. “The UFC really pushed me hard to get through with my rehab so I could fight on this card.
“My doctors said I shouldn’t fight again until February or March, but I stepped up because the UFC wanted me to. I stepped up for the UFC, and I hoped they would do the same for me.”
Shortly after Carwin revealed that he would be unable to compete at UFC 125, Cro Cop expressed interest in stepping in on Carwin’s behalf to Fighters Only Magazine, although the last time he did that, for Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, he turned in one of the poorest performances of his career). Nelson welcomed the potential bout, feeling that Cro Cop is only one of a few UFC heavyweights who would face him.
“The thing is nobody wants to fight a fat guy like me,” explained Nelson. “CroCop is a legend in this sport, and I would’ve loved to have fought him. I’d like to fight [Antonio Rodrigo] Nogueira for the same reason. I’d love to fight [Alistair] Overeem, Brock Lesnar or The Undertaker.”
UFC 125 is scheduled to go down on January 1st at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and will signify the first time that the WEC-UFC merger will go into effect.
Thanks to Mark Wayne for contributing to this article.