The Ultimate Fighter, hailed as the savior of the UFC, has been suffering lately. The ratings have been fairly dismal, mostly due to a network change and the Friday night death slot on the program schedule. The reality show, now in it's 16th season, does offer some entertainment value, and it's dueling coaches are at the center of it. Recently, Shane Carwin stated that he felt Big Country was a backstabber, and had no respect for him. In this new age of WWE style hype for fights, most things that come out of fighter mouths don't surprise me, but Shane is different. He doesn't trash talk normally. If he has a beef with someone, you can pretty much rest assured that it's an honest one, and not a bunch pro wrestling shtick. The funny thing about this whole affair, is that Nelson says there is no beef, and that he thinks he and Carwin are on great terms. As a matter of fact, Roy was the very epitome of amiability, complementing Shane often. He did manage to get in a subtle dig or two, but overall, seems to view him in a generally favorable light. Here's what he had to say:
You know, I've never butted heads with him. I've never headbutted him either [laughs]. The conversations we've had have been, 'Thank you', 'Yes sir', 'No sir', things like that. Shane Carwin is the former UFC champion. He's the greatest thing. I love that guy. I think he's awesome. I have no ill will toward him.The thing is, I don't really think about Shane Carwin. He's not in my everyday life. I am gonna fight him, and then I'll forget him, just like everybody else has.
With the injury bug taking it's latest toll across the heavyweight division, Nelson has been on Twitter, campaigning for a fight with Cormier, leading some to wonder if he's worried that Shane may not be ready for their December fight, due to a knee injury he sustained a few weeks back.
I'll fight Daniel Cormier, no problem. Gonzaga needs an opponent. I'll fight him, too. I really don't care if Shane is ready or not. I just need to get some fights in. I've got stuff to do. They talk about how they want fighters, well, I'm a fighter. I think one reason why I have fans that love me, is because I go out there and fight. Supposedly, that's what the UFC is built off of, the fighter's hard work. Guess what? That's what I do.
There has been very little to no communication between the Zuffa brass and Roy, regarding any of Roy's offers to take some of the fights, nor has there been anything said to him about Carwin's recovery process. With time winding down, one would think it prudent that a contingency plan would be put in place, should Shane not be able to make their December appointment.
No, I don't get those calls. That would be like a courtesy call. It would be like a respect thing. I don't get those. I get whatever I see on TV, or whatever I see on the internet, the same way you guys do.
TUF producers have a knack for selecting the most sensational material to air, and as expected, they're having a field day with Roy. We asked how he felt about the editing, and he agreed that TUF can totally change fan perception.
Um, I have my opinions, and it's really one of those things where I don't have a big enough soapbox to preach to people [laughs]. They definitely have a knack for painting you in a whole different light with their editing.The fans are the ones that pay the bills, and I care about what they think. Without them, we don't have anything.
UFC president, Dana White, has always been vocal when he's got a perceived issue with someone. Recently, he made some comments about Nelson being difficult to deal with.
He never said I was the worst coach. He said I was the worst coach he ever had to deal with. If he was talking about the worst coach, it would be Shane, because he doesn't even coach. Dana's going to say what he needs to say, and I can't help that. It's just one of those things. We don't really have libel or slander in our business.
Right now, the UFC definitely needs some better luck and solid backup plans in place, because the injury bug is no longer a bug. It's more like a genetic alteration in the DNA of the organization. Gamers like Roy Nelson are in short supply, so it's certainly in the company's interests to keep a guy like this active and happy. Now, we just have to wait and see.