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UFC Fight Night 75's Roy Nelson on facing Josh Barnett: 'It's probably the scariest time to fight the guy'

"Big Country" takes on "Warmaster" in a tussle of big, Heavyweight brutes.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Roy Nelson might be approaching the age of 40, but he has no plans of slowing down.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight and mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran headlines UFC Fight Night 75 TONIGHT (Sat. Sept. 26, 2015) against former division champion Josh Barnett inside Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

It's only his second Octagon jaunt of 2015, which isn't meeting Nelson's desired quota.

"My biggest thing is I prefer to fight six times a year. You win some, you lose some," Nelson told MMAjunkie. "It's just like [any] professional sport. Oh, this is a rebuilding year. You kind of go back and forth. I prefer to fight more. There's guys that fight once every twos year. I'm a guy who just likes to be active."

"Big Country" has been at it for the last 11 years and has competed in UFC since Dec. 2009. Each time it seemed like he was working himself toward a title shot, Nelson has usually lost handedly to fighters like Junior dos Santos, current 265- and 205-pound champions Fabricio Werdum and Daniel Cormier.

Despite only appearing in one UFC tilt this year, the heavy-handed Nelson will be the fresher fighter, at least on paper, when he tangles with "Warmaster" in "The Land of the Rising Sun." Barnett has been out of action for the last 22 months working on movie projects and a career commentating in professional wrestling.

The 37-year-old is a PRIDE FC veteran and holds wins over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Randy Couture, but he's coming off of a disheartening loss against perennial Heavyweight contender Travis Browne in Dec. 2013.

However, a man with something to prove is much more dangerous to Nelson than one riding a heralded winning streak.

"Usually after a guy like Josh, who's been at the top of the game, for such a long time -- it's probably the scariest time to fight a guy," Nelson said. "He's coming off a loss. When you're fighting a guy who's coming off a win, they're like 'I got another win.' They're not worried about 'Oh, am I going to lose or win?' A guy coming off of a loss is actually more dangerous versus a guy coming off a win."

Barnett would agree.

Though he boasts a mediocre 7-7 UFC record, Nelson has racked up five performance bonuses, which is one of the reasons he was pitted against Barnett to headline his second career card in Japan in 12 months.

He might be saddled with the pressures of facing a three-fight losing streak, but what fans most  generally appreciate about Nelson is his fighting spirit and willingness to always press forward, no matter how much damage he has incurred -- not to mention his mammoth right hand.

"I guess it's because of my fan base. I've got a big international fan base. It's getting bigger and bigger," Nelson said. "I just go out there and try to perform. I try to go out there and make fans enjoy what they're doing. I enjoy what I do. As long as I give 110 percent, I'm happy."

The generally happy Nelson has been critical of UFC's new drug testing policy, which has come under fire in recent weeks and it would appear that he is one of the least compensated fighters (via MMA Manifesto) in the promotion.

As other fighters would have it, Nelson is considering a career outside of the cage on the eve of entering his forties.

"I'm always trying to work on my stand-up [comedy] game. Anytime I can try and make someone laugh, I'm all about it," Nelson said. "The reason I have to do stand-up is because I work for the UFC and now you know why I have the new career change."

For more on the UFC Fight Night 75: "Barnett vs. Nelson" fight card click here.

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