Can being a big loser make Roy Nelson a big winner?

nullIf anything was clear from UFC 130 on Saturday night it was that Roy Nelson can’t compete at a high level in his current physical state.

Nelson looked like he might actually pass out after 15 minutes of effortless action against Frank Mir in a decision loss to the former UFC heavyweight champ.

UFC President wasn’t too impressed by Nelson’s lack of cardio and may have put “Big Country” in his dog house.

Knowing an opportunity might be abound, noted MMA nutritionist, Mike Dolce, told MMAWeekly.com that he would like to help Nelson slim down.

“In my honest and humble opinion, I believe I could help Roy Nelson unlock his full potential as an athlete, as a fighter, but also in health potential as a human being. I used to be 280 pounds, so at five-foot-nine I walked around 20 pounds heavier than Roy weighed in at the UFC, and now I’m 188 pounds this morning at six percent body fat,” Dolce told MMAWeekly.com on Sunday.

“I can get him down easily if he wants to be a chiseled heavyweight. I can certainly do that. If he wants to be a light heavyweight I can do that. I could probably get him down to middleweight depending on what his goals are. I could do it the most healthy way possible, extend his life, extend his vitality, all of those things. But in the short term take every possible advantage to get the utmost of his ability.”

It is pretty clear that Nelson could lose a good 35-50 pounds, which would allow him to fight at light heavyweight, if he desired.

Nelson has great striking and grappling skills, so losing the weight could really turn his career around and allow him to live up to the potential that many see in him.

A few thoughts from UFC 130

nullWell, UFC 130 is in the books.

The PPV was a little uneventful but still had plenty of intriguing storylines emerge. Here are some thoughts I took away from Saturday’s event.

- Rampage had a solid performance despite what the fans thought – The main event might have had a number of boos surround it, but I thought that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson had a solid performance against Matt Hamill. You have to consider a few things. First, Rampage had a fractured hand coming into the bout and still peppered Hamill with some big punches that didn’t manage to send him down. Second, Rampage stuffed each and every takedown attempt Hamill had with ease. To me, Rampage looked about as good as I have ever seen him and I think a healthy Rampage that shows that kind of takedown defense could pose a real threat to Jon Jones, if he is indeed the next in line for a title fight.

- Roy Nelson really needs to do something with himself – In the co-main event, Frank Mir had little difficulty winning a decision over Roy Nelson. Mir simply had to survive the opening five minutes and then Nelson could barely breathe for the final two rounds. Nelson has the talent to be a real impressive fighter. He has the ground skills and the punching power to contend with anyone, but his lack of conditioning and his desire to stick with his obese physique is hampering his career. I would like to see Nelson commit to losing weight and see where that takes him. Maybe he fights as a smaller heavyweight, or maybe he can even cut down to light heavyweight. The window for him to succeed is closing, and the blueprint for beating him is out there. It is only a matter of time before his UFC run ends because he fails to commit to change.

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UFC 130 Results & Recap

nullUFC 130 took place on Saturday night with a card that lacked a marquee fight, but provided plenty of entertainment.

- In the main event, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (32-8) def. Matt Hamill (10-3) by unanimous decision in a light heavyweight contest. Hamill came into the fight expecting to be able to score takedowns, but Jackson showed impressive defense by stuffing every shot Hamill had. Jackson landed some big punches and knees, but never could do enough to put Hamill down. Jackson’s defense and superior striking were enough to earn him a unanimous decision after 15 minutes of fighting.

- Frank Mir (15-5) made his case to still be considered a top 5 heavyweight with a decision win over Roy Nelson (15-6). Neither fighter was that impressive, but Mir showed more conditioning and better grappling against a fatigued Nelson. Joe Rogan often pointed out how Nelson’s fat shape is affecting his MMA career. Will “Big Country” make any changes, or will he stick with his gimmick?

- Travis Browne (11-0-1) made a big statement in the heavyweight division with his brutal KO of Stefan Struve (21-5) in the first round. The two traded heavy kicks early in the bout but Struve attempted a kick late in the first round and Browne land a big straight punch that sent Struve crashing. Browne added two hammer fists, but Struve was already out. The fight ended at 4:11 of the first round.

- Rick Story (13-3) showed that he is a legit title contender in the welterweight division by beating Thiago Alves (18-8) by unanimous decision. Story was able to get Alves to the ground often in the opening two rounds and then took a number of big punches in the third round but was never knocked to the ground. Story did enough to win the bout 29-28 on all three scorecards.

-“The All American” Brian Stann (11-3) picked up another big KO victory, as he disposed of Jorge Santiago (23-9) in the second round of their middleweight contest. Stann flattened Santiago with a big left hook in the first round and then continued to land big shots before closing out the fight in the second round with another big punch and a furious follow up. The fight concluded at 4:29 in the second round. Stann is now 3-0 since moving down to the middleweight division.

Check out the quick results after the jump.

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UFC 130 Picks & Predictions

nullI have been breaking down UFC 130 all week with my takes on each contest.

Here are my full picks for the five bouts on the main card for Saturday night’s event, which airs live on PPV at 9PM ET. Check back tonight for complete results from the show.

UFC Light Heavyweight Bout – Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (31-8) vs. Matt Hamill (10-2) – I think this will be a very tough fight for Jackson if Hamill is in the right mindset. Hamill has the ability to get Jackson on his back, and that has been Jackson’s weakness as of late. Still, I think Hamill will get caught up in the moment of his first PPV main event and show Jackson too much respect, which will allow Rampage to win by decision by being the more aggressive fighter.

UFC Heavyweight Bout – Frank Mir (14-5) vs. Roy Nelson (15-5) – This should be a good scrap, but Mir’s desire to trade strikes in recent bouts will be his downfall tonight. I see Nelson getting an opportunity to land a clean punch, and that will lead to the end of the fight. Look for it in the second round.

UFC Middleweight Bout – Brian Stann (10-3) vs. Jorge Santiago (23-8) – In this clash of strikers, I see Stann coming out on top. He has crisper boxing and is the stronger fighter. Santiago has the ability to land a big kick or a big knee, but I see him trying for something flashy and leaving himself open to a big counter punch from Stann that will lead to a second round TKO.

UFC Welterweight Bout – Thiago Alves (18-7) vs. Rick Story (12-3) – There should be some fireworks here as Story will bring the fight to Alves. Story has the right style to pull off the upset, but I think he lacks that explosion in his takedowns to really get Alves on his back. I see “The Pitbull” using his punches and kicks to slowly tire Story before getting a TKO finish in the third round.

UFC Heavyweight Bout – Travis Browne (10-0-1) vs. Stefan Struve (21-4) – This is a classic grappler vs. striker contest and I see the striker winning. Struve has struggled with powerful strikers in the past and I look for Browne to come out quickly and win by first round TKO.

UFC 130 Weigh-In Results: All fighters make weight

nullAll 20 competitors that will be taking part in Saturday’s UFC 130 successfully weighed in on Friday.

Main-event light heavyweights Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Matt Hamill both hit the 205-pound limit on the dot and then had an intense stare down to hype up the live crowd. Jackson is likely fighting for a title shot against Jon Jones with a win while Hamill is seeking the biggest win in his pro career.

In the co-main event, heavyweights Frank Mir and Roy Nelson came in at 260 pounds. Nelson adorned some lovely pigtails with pink ribbons while Mir looked to be all business.

Thiago Alves, who has had a history of missing weight, looked healthy in his 170-pound weigh-in. He will face off with Rick Story, who also weighed in at 170 pounds. Alves is looking to get back into the UFC welterweight title picture while Story is seeking the biggest win in his young career.

Check out the rest of the UFC 130 weigh-in results after the jump.

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UFC 130 Preview: Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson

nullThe co-main event of Saturday’s UFC 130 is a heavyweight clash between top contenders Frank Mir and Roy Nelson.

Both men need a win to stay among the elite in the division. A loss will send either fighter back down the ladder with a lengthy climb to earn a title shot.

Here is a look at what each fighter brings to the octagon for this bout:

Frank Mir (14-5) – Mir is a former champion in the UFC and he started as a submission expert that was able to quickly finish guys with some very complex submissions. As Mir has evolved with the times, his striking has improved greatly and he has picked up a series of knockout victories over recent years. Mir’s struggles come with over-powering strikers like Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin. He was unable to get those fighters to the ground and couldn’t deal with their power in terms of striking.

Roy Nelson (15-5) – Nelson is a large man but he is deceptively strong and a solid grappler. Though built more like Homer Simpson, Nelson is a very experienced grappler and a black belt in jiu-jitsu. He actually defeated Mir in a grappling match a few years back. I feel like Nelson has more punching power than Mir and should have the edge on his feet, but his conditioning could be a factor as Mir is in better shape. Mir also has the experience on the ground in the UFC that Nelson still doesn’t quite have, and that could also be a factor.

Who Will Win: This fight should be close and really is a coin toss. Mir has the experience, but I think this is a bad matchup for him. He has gotten more and more confident in his striking and gone away from the style that made him one of the best. If he tries to trade blows with Nelson, it is going to be a bad night for Mir. I look for Nelson to find a way to earn the TKO during this bout.

Early Betting Odds for UFC 130: Rampage, Mir favored

nullThis Saturday, UFC 130 takes place from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and Bodog.com has released its odds for the five main card bouts.

In the main event, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (31-8) takes on Matt Hamill (10-2) in a light heavyweight contest. This was originally scheduled to be the co-main event, but injuries to both Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar cancelled the planned lightweight title fight.

Jackson comes into the bout as the clear favorite with a money line of -275 while Hamill comes in at +215. Jackson is a former champion and powerful striker while Hamill is more wrestling based and likes to use his long reach to keep from getting into a slugfest. Hamill has won his last five bouts while Jackson has won three of his last four. The winner is likely to be discussed as one of the top contenders to Jon Jones’ championship.

In the co-main event, heavyweights Frank Mir (14-5) and Roy Nelson (15-5) face off. Mir comes into the bout as the slight favorite with odds of -135 while Nelson has odds of +105. Nelson has not fought since August of last year when he suffered his first loss in the UFC to Junior dos Santos. Mir has alternated wins and losses over his last five bouts but is still considered one of the top fighters in the division. Both men bring powerful hands and solid grappling. Mir may be the better submission fighter but Nelson has better striking in my opinion.

For the rest of the odds to UFC 130’s main card, check out the jump.

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Your weekly MMA TV Schedule update

nullAnother Sunday night means another MMA on TV update for the week.

Here is a look at all the MMA events you can see on tv or the internet this week.

- On Wednesday, the ninth episode of The Ultimate Fighter will air on SpikeTV at 9 p.m. ET. The quarterfinals continue as both teams picked up a win in the opening two quarterfinal bouts.

- Also on Wednesday, following The Ultimate Fighter, UFC In The Moment: Rampage Jackson debuts at 10 p.m. ET on SpikeTV and then Countdown to UFC 130 follows at 10:30 p.m.

- On Friday, Titan Fighting 18 takes place in Kansas City. The card features former UFC stars Jens Pulver, Drew McFedries, and Rory Markham, among others. The card will air on HDNet Fights starting at 7 p.m. ET.

- On Saturday, UFC 130 takes place from Las Vegas. The main event is a light heavyweight contest between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Matt Hamill. The co-main event is a heavyweight clash between Roy Nelson and Frank Mir. The main card will air on PPV at 9 p.m. ET while two prelims will air on SpikeTV at 8 p.m. ET.

- Sunday has Dream 17 taking place in Saitama, Japan. The Bantamweight Grand Prix quarterfinals will be taking place at the event and also Shinya Aoki will face off with Rich Clementi. Caol Uno and Joachim Hansen will also be in action. Check listings for TV availability.

Frank Mir likes himself some Frank Mir

nullFrank Mir has never been one to be shy about telling you how great he is.

The former UFC Heavyweight Champion has always been quick to deliver a good sound byte and that hasn’t changed heading into his UFC 130 bout with Roy Nelson.

Our good friends at MMAMania had all the details of Mir’s PR tour interviews this week.

Here are his thoughts on his opponent Junior dos Santos:

“I just think I match up well with (Dos Santos). He’s a very good boxer. I think he has excellent hands but sometimes falls into a pattern of only using his boxing and not utilizing his jiu-jitsu and all his other skills.”

How about the criticism he has faced for his lackluster bout with Mirko CroCop last fall?

“The guys in the UFC are very tough. You’re always trying to be the best mixed martial arts fighter. At the end of the day, there’s somebody else in the ring that’s trying to avoid everything that I want to happen. If the other guys start cooperating more, maybe I’d look better.”

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Five fighters that might survive the Apocalypse

nullIn case some of you haven’t been paying attention, the Apocalypse is set to take place tomorrow.

If there are any athletes who might survive on the post-apocalyptic planet, it would be mixed-martial artists.

Here are the five guys I would like to be around tomorrow, once The Rapture saves those who will be saved.

1. Matt Hughes – As his walk-out song goes “A Country Boy Can Survive”. Hughes is a farm boy that can probably do anything and everything as long as he has a pair of boots and a piece of John Deere equipment that he can break down into parts. He can certainly kill any other living animal and will likely know how to build a fire and refine liquid into water. The question is, will he spend too much time making smart-ass remarks about how much of a girl you are for trying to get your IPhone to work? You also would have to put up with his stories about how boring a fighter Georges St. Pierre is.

2. Lyoto Machida – Machida is almost like an animal more than a human when you consider his cat-like speed and reflexes. I would think no zombies stand a chance against him. Also, the man drinks his own urine, so a lack of water won’t be a big issue for him. Let’s just hope if we can’t find food that he thinks your bodily releases will also make for a good replacement.

3. Forrest Griffin – The man wrote a book about it, so I have a sense he is prepared. He doesn’t seem too concerned with bathing or looking good, so he wouldn’t waste time with that. He also is a scrapper, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him try and take down a cougar or a lion for food. Problem with Forrest is, he might kill you, and not just for necessity.

4. Chael Sonnen – As a man in an apocalyptic world, you are going to need to tap into your survival instincts and really draw on adrenaline and testosterone. Well, Chael has plenty of that. In fact, he has some by the bottle full. So, you may have to put up with a lot of idiotic statements that he will later claim he never said, but at least your motor should always be on high.

5. Roy Nelson – Sure, he doesn’t look like much of an athlete, but the guy can hit hard and he can choke out any zombies or animals that might attack. He has a big appetite, so food will always be a priority in your survival group, which means you should eat well. Also, his belly should make a nice pillow during the down times