Roy Nelson has shown time and again that he can take a punch, as he proved during his three-round war against Fabricio Werdum at UFC 142 back in 2012.
"Big Country's" toughness was on display, yet again, during his heavyweight showdown with Alistair Overeem at UFC 185 earlier this month in Dallas, Texas.
For three rounds, Nelson took one hit after another from the towering Dutchman. And not just punches, but leg kicks and knees to the body that left the pudgy pugilist battered and bruised -- but not broken (recap). After 15 minutes of handing out punishment, Overeem couldn't finish him.
And it's not for a lack of power, but rather a ton of toughness on the part of Nelson.
"I'm very pleased with my performance obviously and the win, but also the way we won," Overeem said in an interview with FOX Sports. "We stuck to the game plan, we landed massive shots and we did good. We did very good and it showed. The training showed in the fight and that's something that's particularly pleasing," he said.
After re-watching the bout, Overeem is still amazed at just how much punishment Nelson is willing to absorb.
"I've re-watched it a couple of times. It was a very good performance. I broke Roy's ribs, he broke his hands on my head, I destroyed his leg," Overeem said. "He took like six or seven solid shots to the head. I tried to finish that fight. I was in phenomenal shape. My hat goes off to Roy Nelson who absorbed it all. He took everything."
Of course, taking a lot of strikes to the head and body isn't exactly healthy, as the damage could pile up over time and lead to disastrous results. As Overeem declared, being on the wrong end of those fights can take years off your career.
"It's not really healthy, but I have to say it was really good -- although those kinds of fights aren't good for your career because it literally takes a couple of years off, but he took it," Overeem said. "He didn't go down and he stayed dangerous until the end. I would say 99-percent of the other heavyweights would have been finished. I broke his ribs, I destroyed his leg."
"I had six or seven solid shots to the head. I know I hit hard and fast and he's swallowing them away like it's nothing," concluded Overeem.
Having said that, after repeatedly seeing the type of punishment "Big Country" can absorb, what does that say about Mark Hunt's knockout power if one well-placed uppercut from "Super Samoan" managed to do what no one else could to Roy inside the Octagon?