Bellator MMA have announced the signing of former UFC heavyweight contender Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson.
The 40-year-old from Las Vegas has won just three of his last ten fights but remains one of the toughest competitors in the sport – having only been stopped once during that time – and will fit snugly into a Bellator heavyweight division that includes Fedor Emelianenko, Vitaly Minakov, Sergei Kharitonov and his old pals Matt Mitrione and Cheick Kongo.
“With the direction that Bellator MMA is heading, I consider Roy an extremely valuable addition to our roster,” said Bellator President Scott Coker. “When you look at Nelson’s record and some of the superstar opponents that he’s faced over the years, as well as his ability to connect with the fans, we felt he was the perfect fit for Bellator. I’ve been a fan of his for years and we are anxious to see him return to Spike inside the Bellator cage.”
During his eight-year and nineteen-fight run with the UFC, Nelson scored big wins against the likes of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mirko Cro Cop and Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva, as well as Kongo and Mitrione. He also won season ten of The Ultimate Fighter, defeating Kimbo Slice in the most-watched TUF fight of all-time.
Renowned for his granite chin and fight-ending power, which has helped end nineteen of his twenty-two career wins inside schedule, Nelson, even at forty, guarantees entertainment and action.
“I wanted to work with Scott Coker because I have heard nothing but great things – plus I get to work with Spike and Viacom again who catapulted MMA in America,” added Nelson, 22-14. “I am excited to join Bellator and to show how an All-American like myself will make new and old fans fall in love with MMA again and again.”