Roy Nelson earned his first win under the Bellator banner Saturday night, besting Javy Ayala at Bellator 183.
Nelson, a former Ultimate Fighter winner, signed with the promotion earlier this year. He earned a decision vs. Ayala.
“The goal was just to go out there, get the win, and work my game a little bit. It felt good to throw some bombs for these fans in San Jose. I had to give Bellator some footage to use, especially since the UFC doesn’t license anything out,” Nelson said. “It was a tough fight and Javy’s a talented fighter.
“Really, any heavyweight has power and if you connect the other person is definitely going to get knocked out and that is exactly what these fans come to see.”
While he wasn’t the winner, Ayala still left with reason for optimism.
“Overall I was pretty happy with my performance. I thought I was doing a good job with my stand up against him, but he’s really tough,” Ayala said. “I just wasn’t able to stop the takedowns and his top control was at the elite level. But again I’m pretty pleased with my performance and I’m already looking forward to getting back into that cage for Bellator.”