When Junior dos Santos (15-1) and Roy Nelson (17-7) collided in 2010, the current heavyweight champion remembers thinking how it was impossible to knock Nelson out.
“I gave a good uppercut on him and then he comes back and I started to think, ‘here the fat boy comes again, why won’t he stay down,” said dos Santos to MMA Fighting. “That stuck in my mind and after I won, I was like, ‘phew.’”
Dos Santos, who wanted the knockout victory, had to settle with a decision win. Two fights later and he would become the heavyweight champion. Dos Santos gave Nelson credit and doesn’t think that people take him seriously enough.
“People who know MMA know Roy is a serious fighter, but people don’t think like that,” said dos Santos. “I started to get worried.”
Nelson returns tonight on the finale of the current season of The Ultimate Fighter to face fellow TUF 10 contestant Matt Mitrione (5-1) in the main event.
Dos Santos will look for his second title defense later this month against Cain Velasquez (10-1).