NEWARK, N.J. – With his scruffy beard and flowing locks, Roy Nelson may never look the part of an elite MMA fighter, but it’s impossible to deny the man’s punching power, as Cheick Kongo quickly discovered.
The heavyweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC 159 event at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.
As the fight opened, Nelson pushed forward quickly into the clinch, where it looked like he wanted to work against the fence. But referee Kevin Mulhall quickly called an end to that strategy by breaking apart the fighters as they looked to establish position.
It worked out in Nelson’s favor.
As Kongo kept his back to the cage, Nelson walked forward and unleashed an overhand right hand that landed on the ear and sent Kongo to the floor. As Kongo tries to scramble up, Nelson blasted him with another right hand that sent him sprawlin to the canvas. Mulhall then stepped in to call the fight at the 2:03 mark of the opening frame.
Nelson (19-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) is now 4-1 in his past five appearances, and all four wins have come by way of knockout. After the win, Nelson called for a chance to fight for the UFC’s heavyweight title.
“They set ‘em up, and I knock ‘em down,” Nelson said. “I want that gold. UFC 160, whoever wins that I want.”
Kongo (18-8-2 MMA, 11-6-1 UFC) falls to 1-2 in his past three outings.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 159 results include:
- Roy Nelson def. Cheick Kongo via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 2:03
- Phil Davis def. Vinny Magalhaes via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Pat Healy def. Jim Miller via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:02
- Rustam Khabilov def. Yancy Medeiros via TKO (thumb injury) – Round 1, 2:32
- Ovince St. Preux def. Gian Villante via majority technical decision (30-28, 30-29, 29-29) – Round 3, 0:33
- Sara McMann def. Sheila Gaff via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:06
- Bryan Caraway def. Johnny Bedford via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 3, 4:44
- Cody McKenzie def. Leonard Garcia via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Steven Siler def. Kurt Holobaugh via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
For complete coverage of UFC 159, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.
Matt Erickson and Steven Marrocco contributed to this report on-site in Newark.