UFC 161's Roy Nelson will never get a heavyweight title shot thanks to the ‘business’ of ‘politics’

USA TODAY Sports

Roy Nelson says much like former NFL running back Barry Sanders, he’ll never compete for his respective sport's biggest prize because in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) ranks, it’s all about ‘politics’ and not fighting.

What do former National Football League (NFL) running back Barry Sanders and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Roy Nelson have in common?

Neither of them will ever have the opportunity to compete in the championship game, or in "Big Country's" case, title fight.

According to the pudgy pugilist, UFC title shots are all about "politics" and not necessarily about fighting, which is why he believes Chael Sonnen earned his shot against current Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones at UFC 159.

"The American Gangster" was coming off a loss to Middleweight champ Anderson Silva, however, he still received a shot at the title in a division he hadn't competed in for years because it was apparently a fight that would sell.

And sell it did.

It's instances like those that makes Nelson conclude that no amount of victories will earn him a UFC title shot because at the end of the day, it's all about which fight rakes in the most revenue.

He breaks it down to Bloody Elbow:

"I think they're business people. That's why Chael fought last month. They don't want Mark Hunt to win. They want Junior dos Santos to fight Cain Velasquez again. It just makes sense on paper. That fight can make a lot of money. When Overeem got beat by Bigfoot, that kind of messed some things up. I make money no matter who I fight. Do I want a shot at the belt? Yes, of course I do. Put it this way, I am Barry Sanders on the Detroit Lions. You love to watch me, but you'll never see me play in the Super Bowl. It's just one of those things. It's about politics. It's not about fighting."

Barry Sanders, who played running back for the Detroit Lions for a decade, is considered one of the greatest to ever play the position. Despite his greatness and individual achievements, he never had the opportunity to play in a Super Bowl.

Nelson, meanwhile, is currently the owner of three straight knockout victories and is scheduled to face Stipe Miocic at UFC 161 on June 15, 2013.

And granted, while the promotion's 265-pound weight class is as strong as it's ever been, that doesn't mean "Big Country" will be denied a shot at the gold if he continues to knock people's heads off, right?

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