Opinion: Ready For ‘Big Country’ To Dominate?
By Michael Hatamoto
Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson is riding a two-fight win streak into the octagon on Saturday night, and hopes to add Cheick Kongo to his recent KO/TKO highlight reel.
Since losing to Fabricio Werdum at UFC 143 in February 2012, Nelson bounced back well against Dave Herman at UFC 146 and finished Matt Mitrione at The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson Finale last December. Fighting Kongo presents a great chance for yet another impressive finish, as long as he can stay away from Kongo’s strikes, and avoid getting punched or kicked cleanly.
Here is what Nelson had to say:
“I’m sitting down on my punches now, and instead of doing one punch at a time, it’s usually the second or third punch that I’m actually trying to focus on. When I first got in the UFC and I fought Brendan Schaub, I just knew that it was the third punch that was landing every time. I doubled on the jab, and it was the third punch. So it was like a magic trick – I’ll get you looking over here, and then all of a sudden the punch comes from somewhere else and you get knocked out.”
If Nelson is able to follow up his first punch with a solid combination, or even mix in jabs before landing his right hand, it could be a very bad night for Kongo. I expect Kongo to try and use his kicks to help set up his boxing skills, and will be curious to see how much he has worked on his boxing defense.
Nelson has three losses inside the UFC cage: Fabricio Werdum, Frank Mir, and Junior dos Santos – and Kongo clearly isn’t on the same level as any of those three. I expect Nelson to be able to land a few shots, including his potent right hand, and claw his way back into the heavyweight championship.