Dana White Discusses Roy Nelson’s New UFC Contract
“I just feel like he played the whole thing the wrong way, when he didn’t need to play it that way,” Dana White said about Roy Nelson (pictured) taking a fight at the end of his last contract. Since then, the UFC has re-signed Nelson, and he is set to fight the first fight on that contract this weekend against Daniel Cormier.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
Roy Nelson is set to face Daniel Cormier this weekend at UFC 166 in what is the first fight on his new contract with the UFC. And though that contract is certainly in favor of the heavyweight fighter, UFC President Dana White thinks Nelson could have made more money had he played his cards better.
At the end of his last contract, Nelson chose to fight on short notice Stipe Miocic at UFC 161 as the final fight of his contract with the UFC. Prior to that bout, Nelson had won three consecutive fights by first-round knockout. With that momentum, he could have easily extended his contract for a decent pay-off. Instead, Nelson chose to, as White put it at the time, ‘roll the dice’ and fight Miocic.
Nelson lost that fight in a one-sided decision. While the negotiations for a new contract could have been dampened by the outcome of that last fight, neither the UFC nor Nelson’s team are dissatisfied.
“It didn’t ruin his brand, it didn’t put a dent in anything,” Nelson’s manager, Mike Kogan, said of UFC 161. “It was just a fight… Roy is not a win or lose fighter. Roy is a fight fighter. People just want to see him fight. It’s kind of like Nick and Nate Diaz. They don’t care if they come out with a loss or a win, they just want to see them fight because they move forward and they’re not there to outpoint the opponent or outspar him.”
For Dana White, Nelson’s decision wasn’t the smartest. He said the UFC was going to re-sign him regardless.
“We wanted Roy,” White said. “We were going to sign Roy anyway. It’s not like we were like, ‘Oh Roy, you lost, now you’re fucked, buddy.’ We don’t do that, we won’t play like that.”
Certainly the loss dropped Nelson in the rankings, but it in no way hurt the UFC’s opinion of Nelson. That doesn’t mean, however, that Dana White thinks it was a good idea.
“It’s just weird when we get into those situations, like Roy rolling the dice and all this stuff. When I talked about Roy rolling the dice, it’s like, Roy waited until the end of his contract. We owed him a fight, and we offered him a fight, and if he didn’t take it we’d have to extend his contract. So he took the fight instead. I just feel like he played the whole thing the wrong way, when he didn’t need to play it that way.”
In any case, Nelson is set to face the No.2 ranked heavyweight fighter, Daniel Cormier this Saturday at UFC 166. And with a contract already signed and complete, all Nelson has to worry about is the fight at hand.