A dispute with a contract Roy Nelson
signed with the Square Ring Promotions a year ago has placed his UFC career on the shelf but the UFC heavyweight told MMAFighting.com Monday he intends to fight next year.
"As far as I know, I'm fighting in 2011," Nelson said nonchalantly on The MMA Hour
with Ariel Helwani. "That's my plan."
Square Ring Promotions, owned by boxer Roy Jones Jr., is claiming rights to match offers for Nelson's services from a contract signed last year for the "March Badness" MMA and boxing card. On the March 21 pay-per-view event, Nelson lost a unanimous decison to Jeff Monson on the card and then went on to sign with the UFC to appear on season ten of The Ultimate Fighter
Nelson "believes" he's being sued along with Zuffa for breach of contract. However, he feels he doesn't owe any fights to Square Ring as the promotion has not promoted a second MMA card since "March Badness."
"I guess from a lawyer's stand point or even a jury's stand point, I think it's kind of hard to say if you have any claims if you've never put on another MMA event ever in your whole entire life that I know of," Nelson said.
Nelson said the UFC and himself were not aware of any obligations to Square Ring upon joining The Ultimate Fighter
Although the news of Square Ring's claims have only emerged in August
, Nelson poked fun on The MMA Hour
at the fact that he's known of Square Ring's claims eight months ago and first hear of any potential issues as far back as when "I fought Kimbo [Slice] on TV."
With knowledge of the claims, Nelson was still booked to fight Shane Carwin at UFC 125 on Jan. 1, but the fight was canceled when Carwin withdrew due to a back injury. A replacement opponent for Nelson was never found, but Nelson contributes his absence on the card to recent merger as opposed to contract issues.
"I think they wanted it's the UFC and there's no rhyme or reason with stuff, usually," Nelson said. "It's a bigger way to roll in WEC into the UFC. It's a good way to start showcasing like Jose Aldo and trying to capitalize off like a Urijah Faber, the little guys."
UFC president Dana White has since said Nelson's future with the UFC is on hold until the issues are resolved.
It's unknown when Nelson will fight next, but this break will allow Nelson time to recover from knee surgery, something he had planned to push through when he accepted the fight against Carwin.
"At the same time I look as a plus that my knee got better faster and I'll be ready anywhere in 2011," Nelson said.See Also: Roy Nelson Left in Heavyweight Purgatory After Carwin's Withdrawal