LOS ANGELES -- Bellator MMA is proud to announce the signing of heavyweight knockout artist Roy Nelson (22-14) to an exclusive, multi-fight contract.
Fighting out of Las Vegas, Nelson joins the Viacom-owned promotion following an eight-year, 19-fight run under the direction of the UFC that saw him earn wins over Mirko Cro Cop, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, "Bigfoot" Silva and Cheick Kongo, while tangling in notable slugfests with former and current UFC title holders Fabricio Werdum, Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier. With 19 of his 22 career wins coming by way of knockout or submission, Nelson should prove to be an exciting addition to the heavyweight division.
The signing sees Nelson return to Spike, where his bout with the late Kimbo Slice on season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter remains the most-watched fight in the history of the reality series. Nelson would eventually go on to win the season, defeating Brendan Schaub in the finale.
"With the direction that Bellator MMA is heading, I consider Roy an extremely valuable addition to our roster," said Bellator President Scott Coker. "When you look at Nelson's record and some of the superstar opponents that he's faced over the years, as well as his ability to connect with the fans, we felt he was the perfect fit for Bellator. I've been a fan of his for years and we are anxious to see him return to Spike inside the Bellator cage."
"I wanted to work with Scott Coker because I have heard nothing but great things – plus I get to work with Spike and Viacom again who catapulted MMA in America," added Nelson. "I am excited to join Bellator and to show how an All-American like myself will make new and old fans fall in love with MMA again and again!"
Nelson's promotional debut will be determined at a later date, but the heavyweight slugger is expected to return to action at some point this year. "Big Country" joins the Bellator MMA fray with an impressive 22-14 professional record and will compete in a heavyweight class that features accomplished fighters, including Fedor Emelianenko, Matt Mitrione, Cheick Kongo, Bobby Lashley and Sergei Kharitonov amongst others.
Bellator is a leading mixed martial arts and kickboxing organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator is available to nearly 500 million homes worldwide in over 140 countries. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on SPIKE, the combat sports television leader. Bellator is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations. Bellator is based in Hollywood, Calif. and owned by entertainment giant Viacom, home to the world's premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.
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