Roy Nelson is a little skeptical about Mirko Cro Cop’s new physique heading into their heavyweight rematch this weekend at Bellator 216 live on DAZN from Uncasville, Connecticut.
In case you missed this week’s unveiling, Cro Cop is jacked behind belief heading into his return to the cage against “Big Country.” It’s an uncanny look, especially for a 44-year-old veteran well past his physical prime.
As you may have guessed, Nelson is raising some red flags about his opponent’s muscular transformation.
“I mean, he definitely has doctors that make him better and stronger, faster,” Nelson told MMA Fighting earlier this week when asked if he thinks Cro Cop is using performance-enhancing drugs. “I think, even, he left the UFC because of that. Because he had doctors that are making him better and stronger.”
Cro Cop, who left UFC back in 2011 following a three-fight losing streak (all knockouts), has racked off an incredible 9-0 record (all finishes) since the beginning of 2014. That includes a brief return to the Octagon for a main event rematch with Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC Fight Night 54 and an Open-Weight Grand Prix tournament win under the RIZIN banner in 2016.
Despite his belief that Cro Cop is doing something a little extra heading into Bellator 216, Nelson has no reservations about welcoming the MMA legend back onto U.S. soil for the first time in over seven years.
“It’s what Bellator puts together,” he said. “I just go out there and fight, that’s the one thing I’ve always done.”
Nelson, who is coming off a knockout loss to Russian contender Sergei Kharitonov, is looking to push his Bellator record to an even 2-2 with a win over Cro Cop this weekend in Connecticut. “Big Country” may not have the big muscles that Cro Cop generated for this fight, but he’s as focused as ever.
“The way I look at it is just getting my hand raised at the end of the night, I don’t look at it any farther than that,” explained Nelson. “It’s all I visualize, is getting my hand raised.”
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