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Dana White considers Roy Nelson to be “the ultimate underachiever”

One of the standard components of the Ultimate Fighter format is to pair coaches with an underlying score to settle whether personal, professional, or both. The same is true of heavyweight TUF 16 team-heads Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin, as each has been critical of the other in the past with the rivalry expected to continue as the season unfolds over the coming months.

However, making this go-round unique is the fact Nelson and UFC President Dana White have also been involved in less-than cordial commentary directed at one another in the past, and, according to White, neither toned it down while working together on the Ultimate Fighter.

“Everything that comes out of his mouth is just … asinine,” said White in an interview with Yahoo Sports, half-joking, “I’m worried that at the end of the season, people are going to want to see me fight Roy Nelson instead of Shane Carwin.”

The tension between the two was teased on last week’s debut episode after Nelson instructed fighters to approach things intelligently in the ring, even opting for a safe decision when necessary, causing White to remind the show’s participants about the dangers involved when scorecards are involved. Asked to elaborate on his problem with the mulleted mauler, White pointed to issues with Nelson’s mental and physical make-up.

“He focuses on all the wrong things. You know what I consider him? The ultimate underachiever,” explained White, referring to Nelson’s rotund physique and casual approach to business. “Take your career serious. Maybe if you took your career serious, I would. The guy could be really good if he cared.”

White’s words aside, the 17-7 Nelson has done well for himself as a heavyweight, finishing fifteen opponents including the likes of Mirko Filipovic, Dave Herman, Brendan Schaub, and Stefan Struve while under the UFC banner. He will have a chance to add Carwin to that list after TUF 16 wraps, though his conflict with White is obviously unlikely to cross the line from verbal to physical. Then again, while they will never actually fight, it seems some winners will still emerge from the ongoing dispute based on its entertaining nature – the fans.


  • Lord Faust says:

    “I’m worried that at the end of the season, people are going to want to see me fight Roy Nelson instead of Shane Carwin.”

    My biggest concern also. After seeing the first episode, it seemed more like TUF: Dana/Carwin -vs- Nelson.

  • Rece Rock says:

    Funniest part of all this will be when Roy subs Carwin…. I agree he looks terrible with that beard and hair cut but he’s no slouch in the cage.

  • Lord Faust says:

    While entirely possible, I think Shane’s wrestling base will pay off and he’ll be the second guy to shut Roy’s lights out.

  • THEGUNNER says:

    If nelson gets carwin in a crucafix and taps his face until the ref stops it im gonna laugh my ass off.

  • Roys got a rock hard chin and great cardio…Shanes got great power and no cardio….This is Roys fight to lose IMO

  • Lord Faust says:

    Carwin’s gas tank is overplayed, I think. He’s had multiple surgeries since then, and I am sure his back issues played a role in his problems with Lesnar.

    Keep in mind, Carwin survived a beating from JDS that is comparable only to the one Roy took. I think if Shane does his roadwork, cardio won’t be an issue; and if Roy can smother him on the ground, it won’t need to bee — Nelson has other ways to win.

    I think this is very close to a pick ’em fight. Roy seems to wilt against real opposition, and Carwin has a lot of questions to answer after such a long hiatus.

  • Creature says:

    I agree with Faust i think Shane is going to get the KO. I think he uses his vastly superior wresting to keep it standing and Id take Shane’s Power/Chin/Boxing over Nelson’s any day. I think people overestimate Nelsons cardio and underestimate Shane’s because of the Brock fight. I honestly think the cardio is about even between the two.

  • Big Stank says:

    I don’t know why Dana keeps calling Roy fat and an underachiever. He’s lost weight and has looked better in the octagon because of it. I do hate his hair though lol. Roy was training with the Diaz bros so his cardio will definatley sh

  • Big Stank says:

    I don’t know why Dana keeps calling Roy fat and an underachiever. He’s lost weight and has looked better in the octagon because of it. I do hate his hair though lol. Roy was training with the Diaz bros so his cardio will definatley show if he keeps up their training regimen. You dont win 17 fights by accident. I want Roy to knock Carwin out cold so badly after he gasses. Nelson TKO Rd 3

  • Lord Faust says:

    He’s lost weight and has looked better in the octagon because of it.

    He’s lost some weight, yes, but his body fat % is still ridiculously high.

    And I do agree with the under-achiever statement: you may not win 17 fights by accident, but he’s also lost 7 — and looked terrible in more-than a couple of those losses.

  • Big Stank says:

    Are u referring to the Mir fight were he had the Flu? Or the Werdum fight, which I’ll admit he did get his ass kicked by a better fighter. I do think he should go down to 205 but he hasn’t been all that bad at HW considering the competition he’s faced.

  • Lord Faust says:

    Again, that’s why I agree with the term “under-achiever”. He’s done quite well for himself, but I think he’s talented enough to do even better at 205. Could you imagine a guy that tough, and skilled on the ground gaming the weight system like everyone else? One word: scary.

  • Big Stank says:

    I completely agree with u on the 205 subject. But I thought Dana’s comments were just generalizing about him as a person. He fights his ass off and would be a beast at LHW. Hopefully it happens sooner than later. But if he keeps winning at HW at his new weight and physique I doubt he will make the drop just to piss off Dana

  • Lord Faust says:

    I’m sure Dana is probably being a little more dismissive than we are.

    Personally, I don’t care what path Roy chooses, but he’s short-changing himself. Then again, that seems to be his MO; the day Roy Nelson gives a shit what someone else thinks about his career I’ll know he’s taken too many shots to the head.

  • Big Stank says:

    Haha that’s good, let’s not hold our breath

  • Richard Stabone says:

    I will continue to say Roy will never fight at 205. He’s 36 years old and weighed in 50 pounds over the LHW limit for his most recent bout. It’s just not even a remote possiblity.

    But it is interesting to think about what might have been if Roy had been motivated/disciplined to fight at 205 during his career. His physique would obviously be much different, and if he shaved that nappy curly hair of his and rather than the beard went with a gnarly goatee a la Tank Abbott, think how much different the perception would be of that fat jolly bastard.

    Carwin was a beast but his best days are very much in the rear-view mirror. He was oh-so-close to capturing the HW belt and running his pro record to 13-0. But as it turned out, Brock somehow survived and Shane had blown his load… both in that fight and also for his career, as age & injury would quickly set in and leave him a shell of his former dominant self.

    After the Brock fight he had neck surgery and almost a year layoff, before returning to the cage in a lethargic performance in which he absorbed a one-sided beatown at the hands of JDS (yes, JDS is damn good, but Carwin at his best would not have been a punching bag like that). And after that Carwin had his back operated on and will have been out for 18 months by the time he steps in the cage to fight Roy. I’d like to think he can bounce back, and be that ferocious fighter he once was, but at age 37 and coming off multiple surgeries, hard for me to think it’ll actually happen.

    I’d call this one a pick’em as well, and as always let’s just hope it’s an entertaining fight.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I’m rooting for Big Country, for a few reasons, one I like him and he doesnt kowtow to Dana, and two it’ll be funny that Dana will once again count Big Country out only to have him turn around and prove Dana wrong. For that reason I’m also hoping that his team wins, and he wins the coaches challenge not just the fight.

    As for the fight itself, Carwin does have good wrestling, but I think he won’t want to take it to the ground due to Nelson’s jits, and I think Nelson will be quicker on the feet then Carwin, unless he decides to stand in the pocket and prove that he can slug it out, then I think it’ll end badly.

  • MCM says:

    Dana White – “I like him. He’s a tough guy with a ton of heart. He goes in there and give it his everthing. My thing I’ve always said to him, I’d like to see you take this thing serious and try to rip off some weight. When you’ve got a chin like that, and a heart like that … and he can really knock people out, too.

    “If he really could get to 205, he’d be a force at 205. He’d be a scary dude. He’s got great wrestling, awesome submissions, great chin, a ton of heart, and has knockout power.

    “I mean, who knows what Roy Nelson could really achieve if he applied himself … ”

    As much as people complain about Dana, he does seem to want to see the best out of his fighters. He gets mad when guys don’t make weight saying they don’t take their job seriously (Rumble). He encourages fighters to fight in weight classes appropriate to their size so as not to be at a disadvantage (Hendo, Edgar, Rashad). And he gets upset when he’s sees a ton of potential going to waste by guys that don’t take their fighting as seriously as the rest (Nelson, B.J.).

    I love Big Country, he’s one of my top 3 favorite fighters and one of the first guys to get me interested in MMA, but Dana is right. Roy has reached a high level of success in the MMA world doing what he’s doing, imagine what he could achieve if he took it seriously.

  • MCM says:

    Richard, I gave you a thumbs down on your first paragraph but I agree with the rest. (why can’t we give both thumbs up and down?)

    I don’t know how old you are but from your writings, you appear to think that early to mid thirties is geriatric. You’ve said that Chael must be a cheater cause he didn’t get “good” until after he turned 30. You’ve stated that A.Silva is on his last legs cause he’s 37, even though he’s shown no sign of slowing down or his skills diminishing. And now you’re saying that a 36 year old man can’t loose weight?

    Roy weighed in around 146 for his fight with Cro Crop. That’s without cutting any weight on the day of the fight. You’re saying that if he changed his diet, for longer than just his training camp, and cut weight for two days he couldn’t make 206?
    For the record I’m 35 and lost 20lbs in the past couple months and I’m about as far away from being an elite level athlete as you can get. If a couch potato like me lose weight with minor changes in his routine, why is it impossible for a guy that has trained marital arts his entire life to do it?

    Watch the show Biggest Loser and tell me middle aged people can’t lose weight.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I think you meant 246 MCM, cuz if he weighted in at 146 then get Nelson vs Aldo now!!!

    While in the real world 36 isn’t old, in the MMA world, it kinda is sadly.

  • Big Stank says:

    Waaaay off topic but I was thinkin today that if Dana wanted Roy to shave his beard and cut his hair and shed some lbs, why doesn’t he just make a friendly bet on his next fight. Is that allowed? Haha kinda bored and drunk


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