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Roy Nelson vs. Junior dos Santos on tap for UFC 117

With rumors circulating of Roy Nelson possibly facing off with Cheick Kongo and Frank Mir in the TUF 10 champion’s next outing, it now appears as though “Big Country” could be facing off with an opponent regarded to be one of the top contenders to the UFC heavyweight throne in a bout that could hold serious weight on future title implications in the weight class.

A heavyweight tussle between Nelson and Brazilian knockout artist Junior dos Santos is currently in the works according to a recent report from, who have stated that one fighter has already agreed to the contest.

If finalized, the bout between the two is expected to take place during UFC 117 as part of the main portion of the card.

The event is scheduled to take place from the EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City on August 7 with an expected main event between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen for all the marbles in the UFC middleweight division.

Neson has looked as impressive as humanly possible since earning his spot in the TUF 10 Finals, racking up consecutive first round knockouts over Brendan Schaub and Stefan Struve, while Dos Santos has strung together an undefeated record of 5-0 in the UFC, finishing every one of his bout with strikes.

  • manny says:

    WTF? Why would this fight even be considered? JDS is in another level than big country, not sure what the hell the ufc matchmakers are thinking.

    1st round KO for JDS.


  • MCM says:

    WTF? Why would this fight even be considered? JDS is in another level than big country, not sure what the hell the ufc matchmakers are thinking.
    1st round KOfor JDS.Next……  

    Not sure about KO in rd1, but I do agree this is not an “acceptable” opponent for JDS. I love Nelson, but he should be fighting someone more like Kongo or Mir before he faces off with the top 3 or 4 guys in the HW division.
    JDS should be fighting for the title in his next bout IMO. Any thing less (‘cept maybe Cain) is an insult to what he’s done in the Octagon. Ofcourse, if Big Country wins, it will be hard to argue him not getting an immediate title shot.

  • blue says:

    JDS is in a tough spot, Brock-Carwin is already locked in and Cain should get the winner. JDS has to tred some water and Roy Nelson is a nice fight for him. This should be a nice feather in JDS’ cap and should solidify his title shot after the Brock\Carwin winner against Cain.

  • Dufresne says:

    I don’t get this match up either. Although I’m also not gonna say that JDS wins this easily. Nelson has big power, a granite chin, and an excellent ground game.

    I personally think that this is a result of ZUFFA’s (mainly Dana’s) dislike for Nelson. I’m not a big conspiracy theory guy, but that’s the only reason I can figure for this. Nelson v either Mir or Kongo would be a good fight that could help vault Nelson to bigger things, and a loss to either wouldn’t seriously hurt his chances in the UFC. JDS on the other hand is a relative newcomer without a huge name to the mainstream audience (unfairly I might add) who has really nothing to lose in this fight. If he loses they say “Nelson is a former champion and has fought the best in the world, no shame there” if he wins they say “Nelson is a former champion and has fought the best in the world, and this kid just destroyed him! JDS is the real deal and Nelson is washed up!”

    Then again, I could be paranoid simply because they’re pitting two of my favorite fighters against each other and I’m just imagining things. Weirder shit has happened.

  • one zero five says:

    I have to agree with the consensus here… bad match-up. I like both fighters, and maybe it would be a good match-up later down the road.. but JDS has already earned a title shot IMO. If not, I really think JDS & Cain should square off. These are the top two contenders at the moment, so why not square off for number one?

    Nelson is awesome, I like the guy & think it’s crap how he gets a bad wrap. BUT, he needs to fight a gatekeeper to earn his shot (maybe even two). I think all fighters should have to go through a bare minimum of 4 fights within the division (successfully) before they get a title shot. I hate when the UFC fast tracks fighters before they’re ready (or before the momentum has actually had a chance to build for a fighter). I think Nelson would beat Mir & Congo with little issue.

  • MickeyC says:

    I agree. Dana has voiced his dislike for Roy. He either wants to test him for real, or outright brake him. Roy if you are reading the F*#k Dana you can beat this kid!!!!

  • MCM says:

    Gotta disagree with you on this Dufresne. I think Dana does like Nelson. All that crap with him pretending to forget his name (Mr. Fitness) was just hype. How do you forget the name of a guy that’s gonna headline your card?
    I think they’re trying to build up a bigger fan base for JDS by having him fight someone the causal fan knows. Because of JDS’s credentials they can’t just give him anybody and they don’t want to see Mir loose another, he and Big Nog won’t fight and Randy won’t come back to HW so who else is there that everyone knows that isn’t already booked for a fight. (Cain doesn’t have the popularity of Big Country either.) Either way this is a win/win for the UFC cause one of these guys either gets the next shot at the title or gets one more fight before their shot at the title.

  • RoadsideGraphix says:

    I think Dana wants to cut Nelson…. So I bet they are going to throw everything they can at him.

  • Ken says:

    Nelson via belly splash!!! Haha I’d love to so “Big Country” with the upset…. :)

  • Ken says:

    Nelson via belly splash!!! Haha I’d love to see “Big Country” with the upset…. :)

  • moosebaby02 says:

    i can see Nelson winning this one. He dosent suck

  • nate says:

    id really like this fight alot more if it wasnt so glaringly obvious that the zuffa boys are trying to protect cain from jds. like c’mon. give us what we want! jds vs cain for the next title shot. id MUCH rather see nelson vs. mir & jds vs cain. with the winner of roy & mir fighting the loser of jds vs cain.

  • Screenplaya says:

    Junior and Cain need to throw. That needs to happen, and the winner needs to fight Carwin for his HW title. The loser of Cain/Dos Santos would make a compelling matchup for Mir. And Kongo/Nelson needs to happen, too.

  • Rece Rock says:

    I’d rather see Big Country face off with Mir ( and I think it’s a more marketable fight) but either way if nelson wants to make something of this UFC run then he needs to step up to the next level anyway… I just would have liked to see him and Mir go at it first…theres alot of match ups at HW so I’m sure DW & Co. have alot of scenarios that they want to see play out… should be interesting.

  • Rich S. says:

    Wow in did NOT see this coming..

    It will probably go down a lot like Nelson/Arlovski..

  • slammy862 says:

    The man who underestimates big country will be the same man who wakes up to a small crowd of people shinning lights in his eyes and asking general questions.

    Roll on, fat man, roll on!

  • Angry Mike says:

    I’m interested in this match up. I still don’t know how far Nelson can progress in UFC. dos Santos has more quality wins, and he has ko power. Nelson lost to Arlovski by ko, so maybe that’s some indication about how this will end. On the other hand, if Nelson can get dos Santos to the ground, that’s Nelson’s strength, and he might be able to grind out the win. Classic grappler vs. striker match up.

  • Lethal Liquid says:

    Yea its pretty clear they’re trying to protect their young guns. This is great for Nelson but, some bull for Dos Santos. I suppose they want them to meet with the belt on the line

  • Guthookd says:

    We all bitched that Roy needed a better test…..wish granted.

    I’m looking forward to it. If JDS takes it, he gets the winner of Cain vs. Lez/Carwin…..if Big C takes it then he can have the looser of Cain vs. Lez/Carwin for the chance at a title shot next, while JDS can fight Mir or Kongo (or the looser of Lez/Carwin) for the same opportunity.

    My initial feeling is the same as most of yours…..Roy is going to get his ass kicked, but I don’t know. The prospect of him taking out JDS and really making a statement makes me a little bit excited. I bet you he’s excited too.

    Get it done Big Country!

  • twyg says:

    This makes sense because the UFC is setting up for future title fights, and if JDS and Cain fought you get rid of a contender. Dana and co. have to believe JDS has got this one. Would love to see Big Country pull the upset. We seem to be getting a lot of upsets lately. The question is if Roy wins where does that put him in the title hunt? Behind Cain but that is about it number two contender.

  • This is really dis-respectful to all that Dos Santos has gone through.

    I like Roy but really ? This is a huge step up for Roy Neslon. Win win situation for the UFC though. I am tuning in to see these two fight. At bar, but I will be watching. No way Roy wins. Dos Santos would destroy Arlovski. I want to see that fight too. No way Roy wins.

    Anyone know who frank will be fighting next. Roy thought he would be getting Mir. Roy bested frank in 2003 jistu match. I would like to see that fight or Roy vs Little Nog.

  • danw84 says:

    I really don’t see Roy making that cut to 205 fightfan.

  • Dufresne says:

    I really don’t see Roy making that cut to 205 fightfan.  

    Although Little Nog could potentially beef up and be a small HW.

  • Talengard says:

    I’ve been calling for this fight for a while, I think it’s a great match-up, it’s another chance for JDS to go against someone with a lot of experience. However, I feel that in this fight his combos won’t be as effective as previous fights. One thing big country has been getting better and better at is his foot work, and I haven’t seen anyone show decent foot work against JDS yet. I think this will hurt his striking game even with that blackhouse jump in jump out style.

    Roy has a lot more of a chance than you guys are giving him, he has the aforementioned footwork and the ability to change levels that we haven’t seen with JDS yet. We just don’t know what JDS will do against a fighter that comes in with a real game plan and has the ability to enact it on others.

  • mu_shin says:

    Always enjoy fans who make such definitive statements, like Nelson has no chance in this fight. That’s just contrary to the facts.

    Yes, dos Santos is among the best of the young guns, and yes, this will be a very tough fight, as it will be for anyone who faces this Brazilian. Yes, I could even see JDS as a strong favorite to win this matchup, but to say that a guy with Nelson’s experience and obvious skills has no chance is to deny all the talent, desire, and potential buried in that butterball body.

    Watched Nelson hammering guys back in the IFL, and respected his foray into the UFC proving ground on the TUF series, where he defied all predictions and blasted all comers. Dana might not have liked the attitude and he might not see Roy Nelson as the dream representative of the UFC heavyweight division, but here’s one fan who thinks Roy will make Junior dos Santos earn this one the old fashioned way, with hard work, and won’t be overwhelmingly shocked if Big Country ends up with his hand raised. I do see JDS as the likely winner, but there’s no quit in that fat man.

  • danw84 says:

    To add to what you said mu_shin, while dos Santos is a very dangerous and tough fight for someone, so is Roy.

    I agree with you that while I’m sure Roy will be a fairly heavy underdog, I won’t be entirely shocked to see him standing over an unconscious or submitted dos Santos in the end.

  • Niv says:

    Well I’ve stated for a short while now that I thnk JDS is the UFC’s best HW fighter today.

    This fight is actually a very dangerous one and Big Country is definitely not out of his element here.

    Let’s not forget BC was in against the like of Andrei Arlovski before stepping into the UFC.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    Well I’ve stated for a short while now that I thnk JDS is the UFC’s best HW fighter today.This fight is actually a very dangerous one and Big Country is definitely not out of his element here.Let’s not forget BC was in against the like of Andrei Arlovski before stepping into the UFC.  (Quote)

    and he was winning that fight when the ref stod them up for no reason

  • MCM says:

    and he was winning that fight when the ref stod them up for no reason  

    I believe the reason was “Kimura” 😉

    And I agree with everyone else that Roy is no slouch, but he hasn’t “earned” his spot to be fighting one of the top 3 guys…..yet. If he had gone through Mir or Kongo then been given JDS, I think that would have been fair. But JDS should be fighting for the title or for #1 contender. Every thing else is just an insult to what he’s done in the HW division.

    I’m still excited to watch it though.

  • MickeyC says:

    What a joke. Some of you are saying Roy has not earned the right to fight CONTENDERS when it has never been tht important. Case in point Brock Lesnar.

  • MickeyC says:

    Lesnarl lost to Mir and could not finish Heath. Then he gets a title shot. Roy was at least a champ somewhere else. Brock .spent the last few years tossin around with guys in their undies. How many former pride champs got instant shots? You say Roy should not get a contender? Crazyness!

  • mu_shin says:

    Watched the Arlovski/Nelson fight last night on line, and Moosebaby nailed it. That ref did a terrible job, standing them up when Roy was improving his position, and breaking them when Roy was working the clinch against the cage. No doubt Andrei got to Nelson in a big way, but it looked to me like Roy was laying there waiting to defend himself when the ref waived the fight off, so I think the loss to Alrlovski was a good indicator that as Niv said, Big Country will not be out of his element against dos Santos.

    Hard to say with Roy’s physique, but I’d swear he looks a little trimmer lately than he did in the Arlovski fight, so maybe he’s been working the endurance end of things a bit more. If Nelson can avoid those big head shots, this could be a long three rounds…

  • danw84 says:

    I always found it funny how in TUF 10 the fattest guy there had the biggest gas tank. I think Roy was the only guy not to gas in a fight that season.

    I like Roy a lot, but I also like dos Santos, so I’m kinda disappointed in this fight just due to not wanting either to lose. I would have loved to see Roy fight, and beat, Mir or Kongo. I also think it’s unfair for dos Santos, who should be basically next in line for a title shot, to fight a guy like Roy who honestly isn’t REALLY in the picture yet. But it is what it is, and I’m sure it will be a great fight.

  • BigDave says:

    Ok right off the top, Dos antos dose not in anyway deserve the #1 contender spot yet and especially over the next hw champ Cain Velasquez. He first needs to beat a top 5 guy and this will be a fight to see if either guy is ready to take that step up to the bigs. The winner of this fight should then go on to fight the winner of a match i expect to see soon and that is big nog getting revenge against frank mir.. Then get the loser which will be brock after cain takes his title. if they can get through that then we can talk title shot for either guy.

    By the way in case you missed it I have brock beatting Carwin by g&p in the second round.

    I also think Nog beats Mir in a rematch.

    Then I have Big country submitting dos antos late in the second or early in the third.

    Next Cain destroys Brock in the first round by Whatever the hell he wants to.

    So the road for Big country,(or Dos Antos if you are picking him to win) will be as fallows to a title shot.

    1.BC/JDS vs. Big Nog

    2.BC/JDS vs.Brock Winner gets title shot loser fights Carwin

    3.BC/JDS vs. CAIN for title.

    So there you have my 2 cents up or down thumbs are fine just my opinion.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    Sorry Dave i have nothing but respect for you but Carwin WILL beat brock.
    yes Nog will get his revange
    I too have Big Country winning
    then i have MY BOY Carwin slugging it out for a hard fought victory vs you kid Cain.
    and thats were the strap stays for a very long time.\

    bet ya???

  • MickeyC says:

    Carwin will beat Brock. And to be honest I do not see Lesnar lasting much longer than any of the others have. I can’t wait to see how Duffee looks at the end of the month. I think he will be the next to break into the top 5 or 6 in the UFC depending on how he looks then and who he fights next.

  • sandman says:

    Nelson will be extremely lucky to get out of the first round against Dos Santos! Nelson beats some nobodys on a tv show and suddenly his fans and he think he is ready for a title shot…are you kidding me? Dos Santos is on a much higher level than Nelson. Look at Nelson’s resume. Who has he fought??? Schaub? Struve? The list of no-names in the IFL? Andre Arlovski was his only decent opponent, and we all know what happened there. Please show Dos Santos some respect; he has been proving himself…


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