UFC president Dana White maintains that he he likes and has a good relationship with Roy Nelson, but cannot hide his annoyance with the stubborn heavyweight when it comes to how seriously he thinks Big Country is taking this MMA stuff.
Recently, Nelson created a buzz when he indicated his willingness to drop to light heavyweight — something many have urged him to do — but White just doesn’t see it happening. In a media scrum following the UFC 146 press conference, White addressed the idea of Nelson dropping to 205 (video below courtesy MMA:30).
“I don’t know how that guy makes 205. He has enough trouble getting down to 250,” White said. “I would be shocked. Or, maybe he just shaves and he gets down to 205, I don’t know. But, I don’t know how he’s going to do it. I’m done. I’m done with it. I’ve encouraged him to shave his face and cut his hair too, but he doesn’t want to listen to that either. So, whatever.”
The UFC boss elaborated when asked if that meant his relationship with Nelson has soured lately.
“I’m cool with him; I like him,” he said. “Listen, he’s a tough guy with a ton of heart. He goes in there and he gives it his everything. My thing is, I’ve always said to him, ‘I’d love to see you take this thing serious and really rip off some weight and try to fight. I mean, when you’ve got a chin like that and a heart like that — you can’t deny the guy’s got a great chin, a ton of heart and he can knock people out, too. If he really could get to 205, he’d be a force at 205. He’d be a scary dude. He’s got great wrestling, awesome submissions, great chin, a ton of heart, and has knockout power. I mean, who knows what Roy Nelson could really achieve if he applied himself?”
Nelson is on deck to face Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in a heavyweight contest at UFC 146 this May 26 in Las Vegas.