CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Roy Nelson looks like your boy next door but he brings a lot more to the cage beyond that slovenly appearance. Nelson, has a huge gut and a terrible mullet, but the dude can fight. He surprised casual and non-MMA fans by storming to the title on Season 10 of "The Ultimate Fighter" and tonight he put on a show by destroying Stefan Struve in 39 seconds in the co-main event of Ultimate Fight Night 21 at Bojangles Coliseum.
The fight capped a bizarre set of circumstances in the arena. The lights over the Octagon and Bruce Buffer's microphone went dead just as begin to introduce the fighters. The UFC announcer got out two words when Bojangles Arena went mostly dark around 9:19 p.m. ET. The Spike broadcast cut away quickly and went to replay of Caol Uno-Gleison Tibau undercard fight. Meanwhile, the two fighters stayed in the cage for six minutes before heading back to the locker rooms. They came back out a few minutes later. It certainly didn't affect Nelson, who was ready to go from the bell.
Update: Nelson picked up another knockout of the night check. This time for $30,000. He got the $25,000 award at the TUF 11 Finale for his finish of Brendan Schaub. That $55,000 in extra cheese is nice for a guy who probably made $10,000 to win and $10,000 to show for his efforts tonight. Nelson made just eight and eight at TUF 11.
Give him credit, Nelson also wasn't freaked out by a huge height disadvantage of 11 inches. Struve goes 6-feet-11 with ridiculous reach but Nelson said before the fight that he would look to mix it up inside. He stalked Struve from the get-go and started throwing big overhand rights. After missing on the first few, Nelson landed one 25 seconds into the fight that backed up Struve. The big Dutchman responded with a jab and Nelson nailed him on the chin with another overhand right. Struve crumbled to the floor, Nelson jumped on top and blasted away with seven more right hands. No. 6 appeared to knock out Struve, who then rolled to his side where referee Dan Miragliotta jumped in to stop it.
Nelson, 33, was an anomaly on TUF, a show designed to find UFC prospects. He entered the season as a veteran of 17 pro fights. Because of his body type (6-foot, 263 pounds), he claims on several occasions in the past that he was told he wasn't welcome in the promotion because his physique didn't mesh with the UFC's image. With three wins on the show, including one over street fighting legend Kimbo Slice, it allowed him to force his way onto the roster.
Now Nelson (15-4, 2-0 UFC) wants a piece of the UFC's latest freakish experiment, heavyweight boxer James Toney. It probably won't happen. There were some rumors before the fight that a Nelson win could mean a fight against Junior Dos Santos.