Free agent Roy Nelson, UFC both open to return to company

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

If we're to take all parties at face value, Roy Nelson is willing to return to the UFC and the UFC wants Roy Nelson back in the fold.

Nelson's loss to Stipe Miocic on Saturday night in the heavyweight co-feature of UFC 161 was the final bout of his Zuffa contract.

"Big Country" and UFC president Dana White have had an at-times acrimonious relationship over the years. But according to both parties, they'll continue their tango if things work out.

"I go where the fans want me," Nelson (26-8) said at the post-fight press conference at Winnipeg's MTS Centre. "Wherever, if Dana and Lorenzo want me to be in the UFC then hey, I'll be knocking on Cain Velasquez's door or whoever the champ is when I'm knocking on it."

For his part, White said he'd have no problem bringing back Nelson, who took the fight with Miocic on short notice.

"I respect Roy," White said. "He has a great chin, hits hard, has great jiu-jitsu. You know, he was a man about this contract. His contract was up in July, we asked for an extension and he said no. He doesn't have to say yes. His contract is up, it's up. We gotta get him a fight before his contract's over, he stepped up, he took the fight.

"Do Roy and I always see eye to eye?" White continued. "We don't. We made an offer to Roy and we'll sit down and talk to him again after this."

Until things get sorted out, Nelson will lick his wounds after absorbing 437 significant strikes, the most in a single fight for a UFC heavyweight without being knocked out.

"My interest is in, I want to get past this loss and fight," said Nelson. "I just want to get out there and fight and get another W. When you lose, Stipe knows, coming off a loss, that's the worst thing to do is go up against another guy coming off a loss. All you want to do is go out there and knock the other guy out. That's all I want to do, that's, you know, where that opportunity is, hopefully it's with the UFC. If they want me here, I'll be here."

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