Bellator MMA President Scott Coker has confirmed that heavyweight Roy Nelson claimed the alternate position for Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix after Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to a knee injury ahead of their scheduled bout in London at Bellator 200.
Nelson (23-15) told MMAFighting.com that he would happily step in if an opportunity does present itself and if not he will position himself to be first in line to challenge the champion down the line.
“[The tournament] is interesting,” Nelson told MMA Fighting. “There are a lot of things that have happened that I didn’t see coming. I can’t wait to see how it pans out. If someone pulls out, I’ll step in for them, and if not, I’ll wait and fight the person who becomes the first champion.”
As it stands, a rematch with the man who defeated him in the GP quarterfinal back in February in Matt Mitrione is the man he’d like to face considering the animosity between the pair, although “Big Country” stated that a match up with Fedor Emelianenko would be a “dream fight.”
“The only person out of all of them that I really want to fight is Matt, just to get that fourth round,” Nelson said. “The only thing after that I can think of would be a dream fight with Fedor. Those are the only heavyweights left, the rest of the guys are 205ers.”
After news spread that “Cro Cop” was injured, a number of fighters put their hands up to replace him, although Nelson believes all of those fighters already have contracts with different promotions.
“Everyone that said they wanted to fight were tied up in their own contracts whether that’s One Championship or whoever else they fight for,” Nelson said. “I think of a lot of these guys are just doing it to generate a bit of publicity for themselves.”