Roy Nelson did indeed apply to fill Keith Kizer's vacant seat as the executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC), and according to "Big Country," the decision is anything but a publicity stunt.
Nelson, a veteran of the sport and current top-15 ranked UFC heavyweight, told UFC Tonight's Ariel Helwani that his pursuit of the coveted position is all about opportunity, adding that if it comes down to a popularity contest, Nelson feels he has a legitimate chance to win.
Kizer served as the NAC's executive director from 2006 until his resignation on January 27, 2014, overseeing the sport of mixed marital arts during a time of explosive growth, but also drawing significant criticism for, among other aspects, the state of judging and refereeing within Nevada -- an issue which Nelson vows to help rectify should he get hired.
Nelson is of course a fighter first, and on that front UFC officials are currently working to set up a bout between Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to take place in Abu Dhabi in either April or May, although nothing is yet finalized. The 37-year-old Nelson most recently lost back-to-back decisions to Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier.
Of course one man who isn't a fan of Nelson's chase for the vacant NAC seat is none other than Nelson's own boss, UFC President Dana White.
"What a f--king moron," White declared of Nelson on Monday. "Let me tell you what, if he puts in an application at f--king Kinko's, he isn't getting that job. Let alone the Nevada State Athletic Commission."