The guy has been called a 'Bloated Truck Driver' in the past and ridiculed as portly but Roy Nelson showed a lot of heart fighting Andrei Arlovski on a week's notice on Saturday's EliteXC 'Heat' card. He was fighting the perfect fight until referee Jorge Ortiz (some sites have incorrectly blamed ref Troy Waugh) showed his mixed martial arts officiating inexperience by standing the fight up. Arlovski caught Nelson with an inside knee and then two right hand bombs to finish the fight.
Nelson, who had a 22 pound weight advantage, was controlling Arlovski on the ground, nullifying the Belarussian's explosive striking. It was a great gameplan.
He actually had Arlovski in a real predicament working a kimura with 2:49 left in the first. Ortiz apparently not understanding what a kimura is, called for Nelson 'to work to improve his position' three different times over the next 20 seconds. Arlovski freed himself from the kimura at 2:28 and Nelson was still in a dominant side-control position. For some inexplicable reason, the referee stood them up FOUR SECONDS LATER!
This is the pitfall of holding big events in states with inexperienced MMA referees. The crowd at the Bank Atlantic Center was one of dumber groups in recent history. It seemed like they booed anytime that a fight went to the ground or there was a clinch. Ortiz officiated to the crowd's response instead of watching the fight.
UFC color analyst Joe Rogan popped on MMA.tv to rip Ortiz a new one:
You get a stand up if you can survive the round and make it to the next. If a guy can force you to stand up with him by avoiding the take downs, a guy should be able to force you to fight on the ground by holding you down. It's mixed martial arts, and that's a part of the game. I think these stand ups are incredibly unfair for grapplers. If a guy can hold you down and give you nuggies for 5 minutes, that's life. If a fighter is boring they won't be popular, and that lack of popularity will affect the way they're paid. I think that's what should motivate fighters to be active, not a referee stand up.
I don't know if Rogan meant that Nelson was inactive on the ground. If so, I'm not sure what fight he was watching.