If UFC president Dana White is giving up on Roy Nelson ever fighting as a light heavyweight, then so am I.
The popular heavyweight created headlines this year by promising he would cut to 205 pounds for his next contest if he received 100,000 “likes” on his Facebook page.
That news became irrelevant, though, when it was announced soon after that he would meet heavyweight Antonio Silva at UFC 146 in May.
During a press conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Nelson didn’t completely erase the possibility of a future drop in weight and jokingly added he would get there for his “retirement fight,” like former 205-pounders Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture.
White, however, did erase the possibility while speaking to media after the press conference, saying he simply doesn’t believe Nelson will ever cut the weight.
“You’ve got to want to do it,” White told ESPN.com. “You’ve got to want to get in there -- seriously diet, seriously train, then cut weight the day of the fight.
“I’m done (trying to convince him). I’ve encouraged him to shave his face and cut his hair, but he doesn’t want to do that either so, whatever.”
If Dana White, the boss, can’t talk Nelson into shedding pounds, then I’m thinking fans, even 100,000 of them, might fall short too.
We should point out here that Nelson has shown a recent commitment to getting in better shape. Following a loss to Frank Mir at UFC 130 last May where he weighed-in at 260 pounds, Nelson came in at 252 and 246 pounds for his next two fights.
And any notion the man doesn’t train hard is simply inaccurate. He’s actually built a reputation as a workhorse in the gym among those who have worked with him. He’s not hitting the speed bag then stopping for a snack. Nelson grinds.
My problem with him fighting his next fight, any other future fight, at heavyweight, is that he’s now alluded to the fact he can make 205. In the past, there’s never been that validity from Nelson himself that 205 is a real possibility. Now, he’s basically said he can cut the weight.
So, my question then, is if you’re willing to do it as part of a Facebook gimmick, why not do it just because it’s the best thing for your career?
Clearly, fans want to see Nelson drop weight. He said he received 80,000 “likes” in a day. Count me among those. But like White, I’m starting to believe he’ll never do it -- even though, like White, I think he’d be dangerous there.
“He’d be a force at 205,” White said. “He’s got great wrestling, awesome submissions, a great chin, a ton of heart and knockout power. Who knows what Roy Nelson could really achieve if he applied himself?”