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Roy Nelson: 'People who tend to be in our sport tend to abuse' PEDs

USA TODAY Sports

For approximately the millionth time in his mixed martial arts career, heavyweight Roy "Big Country" Nelson was asked Tuesday about his rotund physique and unruly hairstyle and beard.

But he's never quite given an answer like the one he gave during the UFC 161 media conference call.

Asked why he looks so much different than the rest of his contemporaries, Nelson, who meets Stipe Miocic in the co-main event at Winnipeg's MTS Centre on June 15, left no doubt why he thinks this is the case.

"People who tend to be in our sport tend to abuse performance-enhancing drugs, so that's why I don't look like a typical UFC fighter," Nelson said.

Nelson (19-7), of course, has been consistent in his stand against PEDs in recent years. Another thing he's become is a consistent winner. The Las Vegas native has delivered three straight first-round knockouts, the most recent victory coming when he finished Cheick Kongo at UFC 159.

"Big Country," who had been expected at one point to next fight Daniel Cormier, took the Miocic (9-1) fight on short notice when Soa Palelei had to drop out of the bout. It was elevated to co-main event status when the Mauricio Rua-Antonio Rogerio Nogueira fight dropped out.

"I wish I had more time, so I could give the fans 100 percent Roy Nelson," Nelson said of the short-notice bout. "But hey, what you do for the company, you do for the company. Stipe's one of the top guys in the UFC. He wouldn't be in the UFC if he wasn't one of the best in the world."

Asked why he took on a fighter like Miocic, who is respected, but not ranked, Nelson said "I think I got offered the Daniel Cormier fight and I think he turned that down. Then we went down the list to Travis Browne and so forth and so forth and so forth. ... Stipe was on the card and he was the only one that stepped up."

The way Nelson sees it, his bout with Miocic is simply another chance to get back to work and start moving up the ladder toward a shot at the heavyweight title.

"Yeah I mean on any given day, I know on any given day I can beat anyone else and knock out anyone else out," he said. "I'm usually looking to wrestle and grapple, but I guess the knockouts just happen."

Nelson was the star of an otherwise uneventful conference call. Having taken a swipe at other fighters over PEDs, he then finished things off with a bit of a lecture about bullying and bettering one's self.

"What separates me from other fighters is, I just want to fight," he continued, "A lot of people out there are bullies and they pick on people and call people names, you need to grow up from that and you need to become a better person."

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