NEWARK, N.J. – Roy Nelson wanted a crack at the UFC heavyweight title if he had an impressive win over Cheick Kongo.
He won’t get it, but he’s already been promised one of two fights that would get him closer after his win at UFC 159 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
UFC President Dana White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Nelson (19-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC), who scored a first-round knockout Saturday of Kongo (18-8-2 MMA, 11-6-1 UFC), will get him either a fight with Daniel Cormier or Mark Hunt.
White told MMAjunkie.com he spoke with UFC matchmaker Joe Silva following Nelson’s win and came up with the two possibilities. Hunt fights Junior dos Santos next month at UFC 160. Cormier is a week removed from a win over Frank Mir in his UFC debut.
Just before White’s announcement, Nelson said he was willing to fight whoever the UFC wanted. But he had made it clear earlier in the week that he wanted to fight for the title.
After White’s declaration, Nelson said he’d take on either fighter, regardless of situation.
“I’m there. Whatever,” Nelson said. “I want to fight the best in the world, and fighting Daniel, an Olympian, I’m more than happy to welcome him to the UFC. Mark Hunt, if he can get past ‘JDS,’ sure. And if he doesn’t, I’d still fight Mark Hunt. I’m all about making everyone happy.”
White said he and Silva agreed that if it’s a title shot Nelson is looking for, one of those two opponents would certainly get him closer with a win.
“If he wants to get to the title shot, those are the guys he deserves,” White said.
Cormier (12-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is unbeaten after his long run in Strikeforce. He dominated Mir at UFC on FOX 7 this past week.
Hunt (9-7 MMA, 4-1 UFC) meets Dos Santos (15-2 MMA, 9-1 UFC), and White said a Dos Santos win will lead to a title shot with the Cain Velasquez-Antonio Silva winner. Hunt knocked out Stefan Struve earlier this year, and a win over JDS could get him a fight with Nelson.
The UFC may wait until the aftermath of UFC 160, which takes place May 25 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, before figuring out just who Nelson will face. But Cormier was quick to hear the news and said on Twitter he’d be happy with the fight against Nelson.
For more on UFC 159, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Roy Nelson)