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Roy Nelson Says Relationship With Dana White Is Like 'Husband and Wife'

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Roy Nelson has never been afraid to speak his mind, so it should come as no surprise that "Big Country" didn't sugarcoat his up-and-down relationship with UFC boss Dana White during an interview on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour.

"You just got remember that mine and Dana White's relationship is like were a husband and wife," Nelson said. "I do the man's stuff around the house. I do the fighting, all the man's stuff and he does all the woman stuff — all the yapping."

When host Ariel Helwani pushed Nelson further about why he was speaking out about his relationship with White now, after seemingly patching up previous rocky points, Nelson became more confusing.

"He’s more the 21st century, he's the one who goes out and probably makes more money. Where as I might make sure the house is clean, and all that, but at the end of the day I still do the man's stuff — the lawn, the fighting, all the hard stuff."

The Las Vegas-based heavyweight — who coaches against Shane Carwin during the 16th season of The Ultimate Fighter, which debuts Friday on FX — said him and White had a "separation" period after fallout from the show.

"It’s one of those relationships were there's love and hate," Nelson said. "We’re in one of those things like a speed bump. I don’t know if we need a separation from one another.

"I think The Ultimate Fighter was our separation … but now we’re back together and holding hands and all that stuff."

It's not like White, who has criticized Nelson before for his physique and unique appearance as Nelson likes to sport long hair and a beard, didn't know what he was getting into when he offered the TUF Season 10 alum a coaching opportunity.

"He's a pain in the ass. He's a pain in the ass when he was on the show when he was a contestant, he was a pain in the ass since he's been in the UFC, and now he's a huge pain in the ass now that he's on the show (again)," White said in a previous interview with Helwani.

"I butt heads with this guy nonstop. He's a pain in the ass, that's the only way I can explain this guy. The first day we start filming he starts shooting his mouth off and saying dumb (expletive). … You'll see for yourself."

Nelson, who also made a strange comment that "everything is always backwards" in the UFC swears he's not trying to get the boot from the world's premiere MMA promotion.

"Now why would I want to get fired? I don't have any motives," Nelson said. "I just like to be entertaining. Like a husband and wife, sometimes you poke jabs and he goes one way and I go another. At the end of the day you just want to watch and see what happens."

Nelson, who will square off against Carwin during the live finale that takes place Dec. 15 in Las Vegas, says he's as eager to watch the shows as fans — but mostly to see what didn't make it onto TV.

"This season I would watch it for the pure fact to see what they missed," he said. "What I think is great TV as a fan of MMA, I think will (be more like) the bonus footage on the DVD set. You’re cramming seven weeks into 12 hours. You’re basically not going to show all the good stuff.

"I’m not sure, until I actually see the season and watch and go 'Ah yeah they missed that and that and all that.' I just wish I could help edit, because it would make it 10-times more exciting."

Nelson said he enjoyed competing on the show more than coaching, but joked that if he changed one fighter's life his time was well spent.

"My goal when I first got to the show was to change one fighter's life for the better, to make him a better man," Nelson said. "It didn’t really matter as long as he came out a better man. I worked with 32 men to begin with, and if I changed one of them, then great."

Nelson will be having his own life-altering experience later this fall when his wife, Jessy, gives birth to their first child, a boy. Nelson said the timing of the birth was the only surprising part of being selected as a coach on TUF.

"I'm not surprised to be the coach on The Ultimate Fighter," said Nelson, who is 2-1 in his last three fights, including a first-round knockout of Dave Herman at UFC 146 in May.

"I've worked with so many different fighters in our business that this is kind of a walk in the park. It just caught me by surprise because I have my baby coming. Now I've got to have my baby and training camp in the same time. But it’s a good motivation."