Roy Nelson has always been known as the heavy-bearded heavyweight from Nevada who started his combat sports career in 2004. After suffering a loss to Mirko Cro Cop almost a week ago, ‘Big Country’ decided to come out clean-shaven.
Nelson has just lost his three-round rematch to Mirko via unanimous decision on Saturday night’s Bellator 216 in Uncasville, Connecticut. Prior to the match, ‘Cro Cop’ ripped the Las Vegas native over his ‘disgusting beard’ that makes him look less of a professional fighter.
For the first time since the outset of his MMA career in 2004, Nelson has shaved off his beard clean, making him look dramatically unrecognizable. The 42-year-old is currently on a three-fight losing streak following his fresh defeat over a rival he once knocked out.
In 2011, it was Mirko Filipovic who swallowed a third-round TKO loss to Nelson on their first match at UFC 137. After nearly eight years, the tables have turned for the American fighter after his rival extended his winning streak to nine victories with a unanimous decision finish.
As the pair’s return bout was announced, ‘Big Country’ trolled his opponent with a doping accusation, saying his Bellator 216 rival might enter the cage juiced to seize the win. ‘Crop Cop’ immediately defended himself and taunted Nelson and his thick facial hair.
Filipovic wrote on Facebook almost a year ago:
“Dear Roy Nelson, you don’t have to worry that I’m using any ‘special supplements’ as you claim. The only ‘special supplements’ I’m using is 2 hard and bloody trainings per day, five days a week. And I will be tested, like all others, during preparations for the fight and before and right after the fight.so you can be calm. And start thinking of some good excuse after I beat up your fat disrespectful ass, you have enough time to May 25. And do me a favour please, And shave that disgusting beard, look like professional fighter and show respect to your opponent. Good luck!”
Dear Roy Nelson,you dont have to worry that i’m using any ‘special supplements’ as you claim.the only ‘special…
Despite this, ‘Big Country’ thinks he has established a novelty in the UFC after eight years and 14 fights with the esteemed promotion. Aside from inspiring fighters to grow beards, the self-proclaimed trendsetter said fighters who are not well-built were in the UFC because of him.
“But I paved the way for half the athletes in the UFC. Conor McGregor has a beard because of me, because I’m the one who allowed it. If it wasn’t for me, none of these guys would have a beard,” Nelson stated in an interview in 2017.
“The same thing with the belly. Fighters who don’t look like bodybuilders wouldn’t be in the UFC if it wasn’t for me. There’s a lot of things I’ve definitely paved the road for. MMA is all about putting on a show and entertaining the fans and that’s the one thing I’ve known from the get-go,” ‘Big Country’ continued.
To the MMA world’s surprise, here is Roy Nelson with his neatly-shaved face.
He looks younger, doesn’t he?
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Roy Nelson