Roy Nelson only throws punches with the intent to knock someone out. Sometimes his words are just as forceful.
It’s no surprise to anyone that "Big Country" wants a UFC title shot, but Wednesday night in an interview with FOX Sports he went all in on heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, ribbing him for only fighting once a year, his "Brown Pride" tattoo and the fact that he allegedly ducked Nelson when the two competed for Bodog Fight.
"Don King would be clamoring here," Nelson said. "This is the fight we need to happen. It’s like Pacquiao vs. Mayweather. They just don’t want to make it happen."
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Nelson, who meets Mark Hunt in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Fight Pass on Saturday (3 a.m. ET), would not say who "they" is, but it’s presumed he means the UFC.
"I think Cain Velasquez has only fought the same guy over and over the last couple of years, because they don’t want to change (the champion)," Nelson said.
I think Cain Velasquez has only fought the same guy over and over the last couple of years, because they don’t want to change [the champion].
It’s hard to tell where the jokes end and the seriousness begins sometimes with Nelson. Velasquez has fought Junior dos Santos three times and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva twice in the last three years. Those have been Velasquez’s only opponents since he won the title from Brock Lesnar in 2010.
Of course, that will change when Velasquez defends the belt against Fabricio Werdum at UFC 180 on Nov. 15 in Mexico City. Nelson would have no problem fighting Werdum in a rematch if Werdum won. Werdum beat Nelson in 2012 by unanimous decision.
But the strong words he saved for Velasquez, who he mocked for his light fighting schedule. Velasquez has been out with a serious shoulder injury since beating dos Santos last October.
"I think any time you’re the champ, you just want to live it up," Nelson said. "If I was the champ, I’d call it a day. ‘I’ve got pigeon toe. Oh, my toe is hurting, I can’t fight.’ … I’ve gotta make fun of (Velasquez) — ‘Oh, my shoulder hurts. Oh, my butt hurts.’"
Nelson (20-9) even edgily joked that he would match Velasquez’s famous "Brown Pride" tattoo with one of his own, though he isn’t sure the UFC would appreciate it.
"I can put ‘White Pride’ on my chest," Nelson said with a laugh. "He has his ‘Brown Pride’ on his chest. Wait, that isn’t the same thing, is it?"
"Big Country" said his irreverence about Velasquez all stems back to their time in Bodog Fight. The two were supposed to fight each other then, around 2006, but Nelson said Velasquez ducked him.
"I would have probably knocked him out," Nelson said. "Back then all I did was wrestle and (jiu-jitsu). All he did was just wrestle."
Nelson feels like it would be the same result if the two met today. He’s just looking for "them" to give him the chance to show it.
"If I lose to Mark," Nelson said, "I’d still ask for Cain or whoever has the belt."