Nelson: The Belly Rub is going to be everywhere
Bellator MMA heavyweight Roy Nelson appeared recently on Submission Radio, and discussed his move from the UFC to the Scott Coker run promotion, among other topics.
“For myself, I always wanted to stay with the UFC, but then the UFC kind of went through a whole different marketing strategy,” said Nelson. “They weren’t about fighting anymore and a whole bunch of [other things], and there’s nothing that has been said bad about Scott Coker, and I really wanted to work with Scott Coker. Actually, I have quite a few friends who actually always praised Scott Coker and I’m always about working for a guy that wants to do good for our sport.”
“The first time I ever wanted to work with Scott was actually when they had the Grand Prix in Strikeforce. I always stayed away from the UFC for the longest time, where I went to Affliction, Elite XC, and then I was going to try to join Strikeforce just because that’s where all the heavyweights were. And I tried to fight every heavyweight that I possibly could in the UFC and tried to get rematches and that never, you know, came through. So if I can’t get a rematch and nobody wants to fight me, then it’s time to abort.”
“At the time, if Coker would have just – I think if we didn’t have a little lack of communication I would’ve probably been in Strikeforce. But for the most part I think it was just a timing thing. I think they were at one section and I was at another section in my life and then that’s how I joined Ultimate Fighter, and now eight years later now I’m back reunited and we’re gonna make great things happen.”
“The one thing that I love about Bellator is how Viacom owns them and they’re on Spike. So it’s more of a cross-branding opportunity, versus a lot of the other organizations out there. Because with Spike you’ve got all the way from Farm Rescue to Cops. So whatever things people are really interested in, they actually show it. They have Lip Sync Battle. I mean, they have a whole bunch of different stuff that cross-promote to what Roy Nelson is. Like, I’ll get up there and I’ll act like I’m singing Diana Ross for you.”
Nelson also commented on the difference between dealing with Coker and UFC president Dana White White.“I guess the easiest thing I would just say is understanding and communication. I think those are probably the easiest. You know, If I can text Scott or pick up the phone and call Scott and Scott
“I guess the easiest thing I would just say is understanding and communication,” replied Nelson. “I think those are probably the easiest. You know, If I can text Scott or pick up the phone and call Scott and Scott picks up, then I’m happy.”
Nelson was asked if he was frustrated that he had to try to get the word out on his last couple of UFC fights, given that the league did not put a lot of marketing muscle behind them.
“Yeah no, my biggest thing, if I was making all the – let’s say if I was like Mayweather and I’m making all the profits from doing all the promotion, I would have no problems to be able to market myself and put butts in seats,” he said. “I already do put butts in the seats, but I would have no problem selling millions of pay-per-view if marketing was right behind me.”
Roy was asked of the UFC missed the boat in marketing some Nelson’s unique attributes.
“I think definitely if people just don’t get Roy Nelson or the whole thing, but the one thing is Bellator does. So that’s all that matters. As long as Bellator does, we’re going forward. And you know what, the next thing you know is the belly rub is gonna be everywhere.”
Nelson also commented on the Bellator NYC co-main event between Fedor Emelianenko and Matt Mitrione.
“I think it all really depends on gameplan,” he said. “Fedor just comes out, and being the Tasmanian devil that he is and explosive, I think Matt has a really… I think it will be a short night for Fedor. But if Matt’s able to create distance and able to pick him apart, then I’m choosing that. So it’s actually a fun fight to watch.”
“For myself it would be awesome [to fight Fedor next], because if I had a chance to beat Fedor and I beat Fedor, I’d be the only man to beat Fedor, Cro Cop and Big Nog.”
“For me, I want to fight everybody and anybody. That’s the one thing I always try to do to in the UFC, but I was actually held back quite a bit over there. So for me, the one thing I like about Bellator is their old-school thinking of like, if they put a fight in front of you, you just take it.”
“You know, I’m getting skinnier and stuff, and everybody keeps on asking what I’ve been doing and I go, ‘I’ve just stopped stress eating.’”
“I used to have a young face when I got in the UFC, now I have an old face. It’s like being the president.”
“For myself, as long as I’m still competitive, that’s all I care about. I can be like Randy Couture and win a championship at 43. Who knows. I might fight for the belt by the end of December. It’s one of those things I haven’t even really thought about. I just want to get out there and fight. That’s the one thing I love to do, and put on a show for the fans.”