Biography(references)Nelson was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and attended Cimarron-Memorial High School, where he competed in wrestling, football, and baseball. Nelson briefly trained in karate and began training in Ark Wong's Ng Ga Kuen Shaolin Kung Fu when he was 15 years old. After seven years working as a substitute teacher and after-school program volunteer in Clark County, Nelson began his own career in mixed martial arts. Nelson has been a long-time student of Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Renzo Gracie, who granted him a black belt on August 26, 2009. Nelson was known initially for his strong Jiu-Jitsu game, and has competed at the Abu Dhabi Grappling Championships.
Combat ApproachDespite possessing a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, later years saw Nelson develop a reputation for his powerful striking game, specifically his signature overhand-right. Nelson is also known for having an iron chin. In fact, after his bout against fellow heavyweight Stipe Miocic at UFC 161, Nelson had broken the record for the amount of significant strikes absorbed by a fighter without being knocked out, receiving 437 strikes across his then 10-fight UFC career.
Fighter Trivia(references)Nelson is married to Jess Nelson and they have a son, Jackson. Nelson's nickname 'Big Country' originates from his early years in MMA, when his training partners thought Nelson was from some remarkable wrestling state like Iowa or Oklahoma because of his wrestling pedigree.
Awards & Accolades
UFC: The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights Tournament Winner
UFC: Fight of the Night (One time)
UFC: Knockout of the Night (Four times)
UFC: Performance of the Night (One time)
International Fight League: IFL Heavyweight Championship (One time; first; last)
International Fight League: IFL 2007 Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion
International Fight League: Most consecutive title defenses in the Heavyweight division (2)
International Fight League: Tied (Ryan Schultz) for most consecutive title defenses in the IFL (2)
International Fight League: Tied (Ryan Schultz) for most title defenses in the IFL (2)
Rage on the River: Rage on the River Heavyweight Tournament Winner
Abu Dhabi Combat Club: 2003 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championships Quarterfinalist
Pan-American Championship Jiu Jitsu: 2005 Brown Belt (+100 kg): 1st Place
Pan-American Championship Jiu Jitsu: 2003 Brown Belt (+100 kg): 3rd Place
Full Fight | Roy Nelson vs. Sergei Kharitonov - Bellator 207
Full Fight | Roy Nelson vs. Javy Ayala - Bellator 183
Fight Outcomes - WinsLosses
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