Expecting to face Shane Carwin at UFC 125, Roy “Big Country” Nelson was disappointed to learn that Carwin would be forced out of the bout with a back injury. It seems to be turning out that Nelson wouldn’t have been able to fight on the card anyway, as the most recent word on “Big Country” is that he’s currently locked in a contract dispute stemming to his pre-UFC days that could keep him out of action for some time. Speaking with MMAJunkie.com, UFC President Dana White addressed Nelson’s contract issues.
“These guys go out and sign with these rinky-dink little promotion companies and sign these bad contracts, and let’s just say Roy Nelson is involved in a bad contract right now that he had before,” White said. “There’s a couple of different organizations out there that do it.”
Though no official word has been released, it is being heavily rumored that the promotion keeping Nelson stymied is former boxing champion Roy Jones Jr.’s Square Ring Promotions. Nelson fought Jeff Monson to a unanimous decision loss back in March of 2009 at a Square Ring event titled March Badness, and it is believed that Nelson’s current contractual issues stem from that event. White explained that smaller promotions like Jones Jr.’s are the ones most frequently taking advantage of fighters, much like the conditions that mark boxing’s heyday.
“There’s organizations that are locking these guys up to the old-school boxing contracts,” White said. “The contracts that King and those guys were doing back in the 60s, 70s and 80s where they have options on top of their options – so your contract never ends with these guys. These are the kinds of contracts that some of these guys are signing in these other organizations out there that some of these MMA websites go, ‘Oh, stick up for these guys, they’re the small guys.’ The small guys are the guys that are really [expletive] the fighters.”
“Big Country” himself has stayed mostly mum on the subject so far, but has taken to Twitter in order to vent his frustration, posting to his account recently, “Trying to do some non-MMA related work just in case this fighting stuff doesn’t work out,” and, “I need to start the James [Toney] thing. Just pick fights, and then get paid then have the IRS look into my independent contract status.” Though his future is currently up in the air, there is no doubt that Nelson’s legion of fans will be eagerly awaiting his return to action.