Roy Nelson returned to combat sports and captured his first win since 2017 last night (Fri., May 5, 2023) at Gamebred Bareknuckle MMA from inside FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Fla., as “Big County” stopped Dillon Cleckler via first-round knockout (punch).
Nelson didn’t look to be in the greatest of shape, but Cleckler was nothing special either. It didn’t take long for both aging heavyweights to drain the gas tank and start fighting sloppy. Those type of battles usually favor Nelson because of his big power.
That’s exactly what happened late into the first when Nelson threw caution to the wind and cracked Cleckler with a vicious right hand during an exchange in the middle of the cage. Cleckler fell limp to the canvas and was clearly out of commission. Nelson came in for one final punch before the referee jumped on top for the stoppage.
Check out the finish in the above video player.
Nelson, who turns 47 this coming June, left Bellator MMA in 2020 after losing five fights in a row. It was unknown if Nelson would compete again, but the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight contender couldn’t resist a bare knuckle slobber knocker. Good thing he was able to find a home for his power before Cleckler did.
So what did you make of Nelson’s bareknuckle MMA win?