Either two things can happen when Roy Nelson fights: he's knocking someone into next Tuesday or he's exhaustively chasing someone around for three rounds while he gets jabbed and counterstruck to death.
At UFC Fight Night 39 this past Friday (April 11, 2014) in Abu Dhabi, it's safe to say he avoided the latter.
"Big Country" blasted Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira with his patented right hand, knocking out the Brazilian veteran in the very first round. Nelson was never in jeopardy during the fight, dropping Nogueira twice before dishing out the final blow.
It was actually pretty difficult to watch (try anyway right here).
These knockouts are doing wonders for the former athletic commission executive director hopeful, and as long as he keeps on collecting skulls when he's winning his fights, that will ease the pressure from his boss who gets away with calling him an "idiot" ever so often.
Snapping a two-fight losing streak, the robust fan favorite needs another fight, but this is where it gets a little tricky. Since he knocked out Brendan Schaub at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 10 and won the heavyweight honors, he's faced a murderer's row of fighters, which includes Junior dos Santos, Fabricio Werdum, Daniel Cormier, Stipe Miocic Frank Mir, Mirko Filipovic, Stefan Struve, Matt Mitrione and Chieck Kongo.
It's a pretty impressive list.
Since there isn't a reason to book him in a rematch against someone he's already faced, it's imperative to match him up against someone who is on a winning streak. If the promotion follows their official ranking system, it must be noted that he's met four competitors out of the top 10 already. Two are currently busy fighting each other next week, and the other two -- Josh Barnett and Antonio Silva -- should probably fight each other once the Brazilian comes back from a failed drug test.
It leaves us with two options.
It must be a common thing for UFC to end its program with a potential matchmaking goodie, courtesy of the broadcast team. The "Fight Pass" broadcast went off the air after UFC fighter-turned-commentator Dan Hardy confessed wanting to see the main event winner duke it out with Mark Hunt.
If you're one for tasty Twitter quarrels, Hunt engaged in a war of words against Brendon Schaub via the social media platform a few days ago, with all fingers leading up to a potential duel between both heavyweights. Although, in all honesty, a fan poll would probably blow "The Hybrid" out of the water in favor of "The Super Samoan" taking on Nelson. There would be too much invested in that potential scrap, since it would be a perfect "Fight Night" or "Fight Pass" main event in which both heavyweights would attempt to tear each other's heads off.
On the flipside, do you really want Hunt to participate in another war which could lead to brain damage in the long run, after his epic five-round battle against "Bigfoot" at UFC Fight Night 33?
Some of you sickos are saying "yes" right now, therefore, let's move on.
Another option is Alistair Overeem. The Dutch monster recently pulled it together against Frank Mir at UFC 169 by outclassing his opponent on the main card. "The Reem" snapped a two-fight losing streak with the victory, much like what Nelson did in the main event. Their paths could cross because the potential fight is intriguing on so many levels.
Can Nelson prove Overeem does in fact have a suspect chin? Could Overeem pick Nelson apart by using his more technical striking? What would happen on the ground, when Overeem tries to outmuscle his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt counterpart?
There could be more questions raised, but at the end of the day, if the fight makes sense stylistically and in relation to timing, we could be in store for an unpredictable evening.
You could match Nelson up with either of those beasts, yet it must be stressed the slugger isn't going anywhere any time soon. In an era where accomplished fighters are not guaranteed a place on the roster after one loss, "Big Country" proved even if your boss dislikes you, it would be foolish for him to do away with you after a handful of scorching knockout victories.
It looks like business is a-boomin' again for the "Performance of The Night" winner.
For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 39: "Nogueira vs. Nelson," click here.