The End is Nigh For ‘Big Country’ After He Was Knocked Out in the First Round at Bellator 207…
Bellator 207 went down last night in the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. It was a night of heavyweight action with Ryan Bader taking on Matt Mitrione in the main event and next round of the promotion’s heavyweight grand prix.
In the co-main event, UFC veteran Roy Nelson took on Russian fighter Sergei Kharitonov. ‘Big Country’ is a massive fan-favorite. He’s in the mold of fellow heavyweight star Mark Hunt. Neither of them ever managed to capture an MMA title, but their distinctive appearances, personalities, and desire to throw down make them incredibly popular.
Sadly it looks like Twilight is being to shine its rays on Nelson’s career. The 42-year-old just got brutally knocked out by Kharitonov. You can watch a clip of this violent finish below. The man famed for his granite chin got demolished in the first round…
One of Nelson’s problems as a heavyweight is his lack of stature. He’s quite short and this was a major issue against the bigger and more aggressive Kharitonov. ‘Big Country’ blazed forward with lead jabs and overhand rights, but they weren’t effective.
Kharitonov was able to pressure Nelson against the cage, catching him and unloading with strong knees and vicious uppercuts. Nelson was able to hold on until an uppercut left him dazed and finally he was put down by a swift and violent knee.
— Hedley Lamarr (@RickDinehart) October 13, 2018
For Kharitonov, this is a great moment in his career. Nelson is a genuine, respected veteran of the division. He has taken a lot of bangs in the past but amazingly has only been knocked out twice before. Father Time is catching up but take nothing away from Kharitonov’s achievement. It’s the 16th KO win of his career.
Nelson has now dropped 6 losses in his last ten fight, although his past seven fights have interchanged between wins and losses. While his chin is one of the most famous in the sport, there’s no doubt that this 39-fight veteran has taken a lot of damage throughout the years. Hopefully, by the time he does retire, he will still have some brain cells left. We’d hate to see him suffer in later years.
There is definite controversy in this one though. Nelson had a knee down on the ground when he took the last knee to the head. Under official MMA rules, that is an illegal attack. Of course, he was absolutely getting battered, but that doesn’t mean the manner in which the finish happened should just be ignored.
It’s also a major disappointment for Bellator. The signing of Roy Nelson was a massive statement when they managed to negotiate terms with the UFC stalwart. However, it’s clear now why the UFC really didn’t try too hard to keep ‘Big Country’ on their books. Yes, he’s a great personality and he sells tickets, but there’s only so many times you can get knocked out and keep fighting.