A lot of fighters will drop a weight class when they lose back-to-back fights inside the Octagon, hoping a size advantage will bring them better results in a smaller division.
Roy Nelson figures it's much easier to just grow a beard.
That's because "Big Country" wants to stay just that -- big. He tells NBC Sports that "mean people" are going to talk about his weight anyway, so he might as well embrace it.
"My hair has grown out a little longer. My beard is a little longer. So definitely, we're going to see a different Roy Nelson. I just want to basically wow people with my beard, so definitely going for that. Everybody always talks about my weight, but that's throughout my whole entire life. It's nothing new. I'm sure everybody is going to talk about my weight next week, and then after my fight, and then my weight after that. It's just because people are mean. To me, I look in the mirror every day, my wife thinks I'm beautiful, so I'm going to say probably not (look different). I hope I just perform better. Looks are in the eye of the beholder."
In addition to his epic beard, Nelson is also enlisting the help of friend and former heavyweight rival Frank Mir to help prepare him for a UFC 137 showdown against Mirko Filipovic. Mir knows a thing or two about fighting Croatians, having Cro-cocked the former PRIDE fighter in their UFC 119 stinker back in 2010.
Win or lose, this is expected to be the last appearance of Filipovic as a UFC fighter.
Can he get one more highlight reel stoppage from his vaunted left high kick before calling it quits for good?
Like Filipovic, Nelson has struggled against the upper echelon of the division in recent fights, losing back-to-back unanimous decisions to Junior dos Santos at UFC 117 and Mir at UFC 130.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 10 Champion started his Zuffa career with two straight knockout wins, but may find himself looking for employment elsewhere is he's unable to overcome Cro Cop in "Sin City."
Anyone think the Mir-powered beard will prevail?