Now that Roy Nelson has signed with Bellator their heavyweight roster got a lot more interesting. Outside of Cheick Kongo, Fedor Emelianenko, Matt Mitrione, Bobby Lashley and Joey Beltran there isn’t a lot of big names fans know about. Justin Wren and Oli Thompson are always in fun fights but they aren’t thought to be superstars in the division. King Mo will fight at any weight and there have been rumblings that Chael Sonnen could also move up to heavyweight. By adding “Big Country” to the roster Scott Coker instantly adds a star who can headline a card on Spike TV.
Nelson may have lost 5 of his last 7 fights but he always shows up to fight and has wins over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Bigfoot Silva, Mirko Cro Cop and a lot of other superstar heavyweights. The TUF 10 champ is best known for beating Kimbo Slice in 2009.
After Nelson announced he had signed with Bellator Cheick Kongo welcomed him into the fold and hinted at a rematch from their UFC 159 bout. “Big Country” knocked out Kongo in the first round.
— Cheick Kongo (@kongo4real) May 27, 2017
@kongo4real well thank u, can't wait
— Roy Nelson (@roynelsonmma) May 27, 2017
Nelson vs Kongo 2 is an easy fight to make. It’s also worthy of a main event spot on Spike TV on a Friday night.
Not to be outdone Matt Mitrione also issued a challenge to Nelson on Twitter. Nelson knocked out “Meathead” in 2012 at the TUF 16 Finale. Mitrione fought Nelson on short notice. Nelson was originally scheduled to fight Shane Carwin but Carwin had to withdraw from the bout due to an injury.
@roynelsonmma welcome to the fold, lil buddy! Let's run it back after my date in June!
— Matt Mitrione (@mattmitrione) May 27, 2017
Nelson retweeted the challenge from Mitrione but didn’t accept right away. Should Mitrione defeat Fedor next month it would make a lot of sense to run that fight back as well and put it on Spike.
Anyway you look at it Nelson signing with Bellator is a good thing. He wasn’t going to be a title contender in the UFC but could thrive in Bellator where superfights between legends is the norm. It also brings new (old) blood into the promotion and it’s always fun to speculate on future matchups.
It’s not known who Nelson will face in his first Bellator fight and we may have to wait until next month when the promotion invades New York for an announcement. Coker likes to play things close to his vest and I would imagine Nelson’s first fight will be announced on their next big show.