Bellator signs former UFC TUF winner Roy Nelson

May 27, 2017

MMA Fighting has confirmed with several sources that Roy Nelson has signed with Bellator.  The heavyweight joins the growing list of former UFC fighters signing as free agents with the Viacom-owned company.

Nelson spent 8 years with the UFC.  He was 9-10 in the UFC and was a TUF contestant.  Notably, he was the first fighter to face Kimbo Slice and defeated him and an exhibition bout on the show.  Nelson went on to win Season 10 of TUF.

At 40, Nelson is on the tail-end of his career and ended 1-2 in his last three fights for the UFC.

Nelson will bring his UFC resume and knockout power to Bellator.  Whether he will be considered a contender for the Bellator Heavyweight title is something we shall see.

Payout Perspective:

With Derrick Lewis saying on The MMA Hour this week that he just signed a new contract for the UFC for “six figures,” maybe this is where the company found the money for the raise.  Nelson’s last reported show money was $100,000 to show which made him one of the higher paid fighters on the roster.  The decision not to re-sign him made sense for the UFC and also was a good business decision from Bellator’s perspective.  Assuming Nelson can still get in condition to put in 3 rounds with the potential for a KO, Bellator should be happy.

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