Roy Nelson aims to convert casual fans to MMA for Bellator

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Roy Nelson makes his Bellator debut vs. Javy Ayala on Saturday, September 23, after being with the UFC since winning Won The Ultimate Fighter 10 in 2009. During a recent interview with Sherdog’s Tristen Critchfield, Nelson said he is grateful for the change.

“Why do you think UFC has been dying?” he asked rhetorically. “Because they’re on Fox, Fox Sports 1 or whatever. Viacom is always on the edge because they have MTV, they have Spike, they’re switching over to Paramount. They’re all about changing with the times. They always bring in new demographics. How many women actually watch Spike TV? I think women actually watch ‘Cops’ or ‘Bar Rescue.’ But then you ask them have you ever tuned into Fox Sports 1, they’d be like, ‘Hell no.’

“In other words, what Spike does is they bring in a whole new demographic. That brings in the casual fan. The casual fan that doesn’t actually watch fights, that’s the fan that I’m gonna turn them into watching MMA. That’s one thing I do really well is I turn a casual fan into an MMA fan.”

“I think the heavyweight division in Bellator is pretty stacked. You have former UFC guys, from Cheick Kongo to Matt Mitrione. You also have the legend, Fedor. The one thing about [Bellator President Scott Coker] is he always brings in new talent. Somebody like Javy, you never even heard of Javy and he knocked out Sergei [Kharitonov].”

“My long-term is definitely win the belt. Maybe go into commentating, maybe start a Roy Nelson Bellator TV show on Spike. With the handcuffs off, now anything’s possible. That’s what I’m excited about.”

“There’s a couple different TV shows. We could do me building a house, cooking you a dinner. I could teach you how to fight. I could teach you how to make money with different businesses. You could see me on CNBC. There’s a whole bunch… the opportunities now are [more] where you’re not gonna get railroaded from the other side.”