The way the UFC normally operates is that it's athletes are offered new contracts with one bout left on their existing contract. This allows the fighter to usually get a bit a pay bump on what their last bout would be, but also allows the UFC to lock them in for a new term. Roy Nelson however will be fighting at UFC 161 and it will be the last bout on a contract.
Should Nelson lose he potentially would be dropped from the UFC and certainly would not be in a good negotation position. However, should he win impressively, he will either use it to negotiate a better contract with the UFC or possibly play the field and see what the market may bear in another organization. Nelson and White spoke to the Las Vegas Sun about the situation:
His potential resigning with the world’s largest mixed martial arts promotion is already a contentious subject, but Nelson promises it will have no tangible impact on his performance. He claims to not know the current status of negotiations.
“I have no idea,” Nelson said, smirking. “I have people for that.”
He’s on the last fight of his deal and we owe him a fight,” White said. “He’s not giving us any extensions.”
White reported that the UFC offered Nelson an extension that he turned down, prompting the boss to blast the fighter by referring to him as “the smartest guy on Earth” and “a (expletive) genius.”
Nelson responded in a manner suitable to his quirky personality: He printed hundreds of T-shirts with the slogan and began selling them on his website. The “smartest guy on Earth” T-shirts are nearly sold out, according to Nelson.
“I just thought it was freaking humorous,” Nelson said. “It’s the best compliment Dana has ever said to me. We’ve got these fighter conduct rules about what we’re allowed to say, and I think the president and (CEO) Lorenzo (Fertitta) represent the organization so they’re held to a higher standard, and it was the best compliment anyone could ever say.”
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