At six feet tall and just shy of 250 pounds, and with a decade of mixed martial arts (MMA) experience under his belt, Roy “Big Country” Nelson is a formidable force in the Octagon. Trained in boxing by Jeff Mayweather and granted a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu by master Renzo Gracie in 2006, Nelson has surprised more than a few fighters with his unique combination of grappling skill and raw KO power.
Nelson got his start in the UFC in 2010, after winning season 10 of reality TV series The Ultimate Fighter. Season 10 focused entirely on heavyweight fighters and included Internet sensation and street fighter Kimbo Slice, along with former NFL players like Brendan Schaub. In Big Country’s first match of the season, he defeated Slice by TKO stoppage in the second round; the fight drew 6 million viewers and was the highest-rated MMA show ever broadcast in the U.S. Nelson went on to knock out Schaub at 3:45 in the second round during the season finale.
Conquering season 10 earned Nelson a contract with the UFC, where he started his career with a bang, KO’ing Stefan Struve just 39 seconds into the first round of UFC Fight Night 21. He’s earned a 20-9-0 record with the league, and when asked about his fighting methodology, he puts it as only Big Country can: “Whoever fights me, they’ll go ‘I’ll never fight Roy Nelson again.’”
In addition to taking on opponents face-to-face, the heavyweight also provided commentary for The Ultimate Fighter on multiple websites and for SpikeTV.com’s MMA blog.
Lunarpages recently caught up with Nelson and had a chance to ask him a few questions about the evolving role of technology in the UFC.
Name one piece of technology you can’t live without, and tell us why. A computer, because it’s my connection to my world and my entertainment, as well as my workhorse to get business done.
How does this technology impact your work life? It makes me work harder and, I like to think, smarter.
Has the Internet affected your training regimen? (online workouts, communities) The Internet is definitely a good place for resources and fact-finding, but the one thing is you should never believe everything on the Internet.
How has social media (Facebook, Twitter) changed your relationship with fans? It has allowed me to be one step closer to the fans.
Social media lets you hear all about what other fighters do before a match. Does this heighten competition? The only time this actually matters is when my opponent is my fan.
Speaking of online fans, are there any conversations or messages you remember in particular? When I beat Kimbo Slice, fans were threatening to kill me.
How has the Internet community changed UFC for the better? It allows fans and fighters a bigger voice in the sport.
Going forward, what can the league do to connect more with fans online? Educate the fans more on the sport and the fighters.
Bottom line: Android or iPhone? Android
Want more of Big Country? Catch his next match with Brazilian fighter “Minotauro” Nogueira (34-8-1) on April 11 for UFC Fight Night 39.