By Jonathan Solomon
Some say Roy “Big Country” Nelson gambled by going into his last fight in June without a new UFC contract. He ended up suffering a unanimous decision loss to Stipe Miocic and negotiations for a deal began shortly thereafter.
Today, the Houston Chronicle reports Nelson and the number one fight promotion have agreed to terms on a multi-fight deal. The 37-year-old will return on October 19 in Texas to fight former the Olympic wrestler and currently undefeated Daniel Cormier.
The pair are expected to compete in the night’s co-main event underneath the heavyweight championship rematch between Cain Velasquez and former champ Junior dos Santos.
Nelson and Cormier have engaged in a public war of words on Twitter with both egging the other on to agree to a fight. “Big Country” is 19-8 overall and is considered one of the most talented grapplers in the division, although he is just as well known for his powerful punches. Prior to the loss to Miocic, he finished Dave Herman, Matt Mitrione and Cheick Kongo within the first round in consecutive fights. He himself has only been stopped in a fight on a single occasion, in 2008 when he lost to Andrei Arlovski in EliteXC in the second round.
Cormier, 34-years-old, is 12-0 as a professional and made his UFC debut in April when he defeated former champion Frank Mir by unanimous decision. He also holds wins over Josh Barnett and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva from their days in Strikeforce.
The American Kickboxing Academy fighter is expected to be a title contender at heavyweight in the event dos Santos regains the championship. Cormier and Velasquez are friends and training partners and should the latter retain the gold in October, the man affectionately referred to as “Black Fedor” is expected to cut down to light heavyweight sooner rather than later.
Aside from the two heavyweight match-ups, three other fights have been linked to UFC 166 at the Toyota Center. Former Stirkeforce welterweight champion Nate Marquardt will fight former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard in the latter’s debut at 170-pounds. Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez will meet Diego Sanchez and <i>Ultimate Fighter</i> season 13 winner Tony Ferguson will fight Mike Rio.
What are your thoughts?