Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir is scheduled to face Roy “Big Country” Nelson at UFC 130 early this summer and, though he expects a difficult fight from the man famed as much for his belly as for his fighting ability, Mir thinks Nelson’s best chances for prolonged success may rest in the light heavyweight division.
“You know, I’ve always felt that Roy probably could be very effective at that weight class (light heavyweight),” Mir recently told MMADigest. “I think there’s guys with bigger frames that are at 205, but it’s hard to argue with success. His only loss right now in the UFC is to dos Santos, who’s a top contender and it was only a decision loss, so it’s hard to convince somebody otherwise.”
Back in 2009, prior to his bout against Cheick Kongo, Mir expressed a similar sentiment to Fanhouse.com.
“I think Roy has great wrestling, but structurally though — I know he hates when I tell him this — I think he needs to go down to light heavyweight. The whole big belly thing is cool, but I think he will struggle with some of the better heavyweights in the UFC. He would be much more a force to reckon with if he dropped down. It’s not like he is 265 and ripped. He would be a very good athlete at 205. He’d be a menace. He could still beat guys at heavyweight, but will he be an unstoppable force? Nah, he is giving up a lot of height. I can speak from experience, quality size matters.”
Mir and Nelson will face each other this May 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on the main card of UFC 130: Maynard vs. Edgar III.