Nelson: I want to punch Mitrione’s face for free
This is the first round of the 2018 Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix:
•Chael Sonnen beat ‘Rampage’ Jackson via Unanimous Decision at Bellator 192 on January 20.
•Matt Mitrione beat Roy Nelson via Majority Decision at Bellator 194 on February 16, 2018.
•Fedor Emelianenko beat Frank Mir via KO at Bellator 196 on April 28.
•Ryan Bader beat Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal via KO at Bellator 199 on May 12.
However, tournaments don’t always work out as planned in this sport, so there will be an alternate bout – Roy Nelson vs. Mirko Cro Cop at Bellator 200, on May 25, 2018 in London, England. Durind a media conference call, Nelson expressed satisfaction at being potentially back in the mix, and hope that he gets another shot at Mitrione.
“Any time you can get back into title contention, it’s always nice,” said Nelson, as transcribed by Fernanda Prates for MMAjunkie. “But I just want to get through Mirko and then if we can get a chance to fight Matt Mitrione again, that’s pretty much where I’m kind of looking. And then whoever has the belt, those are my two agendas.”
Nelson won their first fight via TKO at the TUF 16 Finale on December 15, 2012. He lost the rematch, and was accused afterward by Mitrione of cheating which does not sit well.
“He’s just a guy that I’m actually – I really am disgusted with,” said Nelson. “So that’s a guy who I actually really want to punch in the face. Everybody else, I just want to punch in the face because I get paid. He, I just want to punch up his face for free.”
“For me I think the Grand Prix was just to get people interested back in the heavyweight division. Now, if I have to fight Cro Cop and get through Cheick Kongo to get to the title fight, I’m all for it. I know Kongo has done really well for himself for the last five or six fights. So he definitely deserves a shot at the title.
“But, at the same time, who has he been fighting? And I think it’s because, all he does is – he hasn’t been exciting. I think his last fight, was the only one he finished in the last five or six years or something like that.”
Nelson is correct. Kongo’s last fight was via an exciting KO, but prior to that he has had a run of decisions:
Win • Javy Ayala • KO (strikes)
Win • Augusto Sakai • Split Decision
Win • Oli Thompson Unanimous Decision
Win • Tony Johnson • Majority Decision
Win • Vinicius Queiroz • Split Decision
Win • Alexander Volkov • Unanimous Decision
Loss • Muhammed Lawal • Split Decision
And because MMA is not yet a real sport and may never be, not all wins are created equally. However, while Kongo has six decisions in his last seven fights and went 6-1, Nelson has seven decisions in his last eight fights and went 4-4, albeit against far tougher competition.
Loss • Matt Mitrione • Majority Decision
Win • Javy Ayala • Unanimous Decision
Loss • Alexander Volkov • Unanimous Decision
Win • Bigfoot Silva • KO (strikes)
Loss • Derrick Lewis • Split Decision
Win • Jared Rosholt • Unanimous Decision
Loss • Josh Barnett • Unanimous Decision
Loss • Alistair Overeem • Unanimous Decision
If the tournament completes as planned, at the last, Kongo has established himself as a leading contender for the first title shot.