Last Saturday at UFC 198, Werdum entered the octagon to defend his belt for the first time against Stipe Miocic. In a very out-of-character performance, Werdum was knockout by Miocic after rushing in carelessly toward the challenger in the first round. With that strange performance from Werdum, many wondered what caused the former champion to run after Miocic. Nelson believes the answer can be found just outside the octagon walls.
"I think it was the Brazilian crowd of 45,000 people," Nelson said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "You're like, ‘Dude, I want to make some things happen. I want to make fireworks.' And when you do fireworks for the fans, you want to put a show for the fans, you just kind of sometimes get a little over anxious. I know that feeling."
Unlike Junior dos Santos, who thinks Werdum entered UFC 198 with the wrong game plan by striking with Miocic, Nelson believes it was Werdum's impatience that cost him the fight and not his willingness to strike with the knockout artist Miocic.
"No, I think if Werdum just played it, I don't want to say safe, but played the point fighting game too, I think he was already outpointing Stipe anyways," explained Nelson. "He was just like, ‘You know what, I want to hit him.'"
Despite calling Miocic a "point fighter," Nelson was impressed with Miocic's performance and discards the idea of his win being a lucky punch.
"I was impressed that he knocked Werdum out because I didn't see that coming, but at the same time, when you got a 240-pound man running at you, and you just stick your hand out, you're definitely going to hurt somebody.
"No, I don't think it was a lucky punch. I just think Werdum wasn't so bright because he was just very like, ‘just stand there, man. Just fight.' Nelson said. "He just ran at him."
With Werdum's demolition over Cain Velasquez in his last performance along with his recent growth as a fighter, many believed that Miocic becoming the new UFC heavyweight champion wasn't the outcome that was supposed to happen. However, Nelson says that's exactly what happens in the UFC's heavyweight division.
"No I'm not surprised," Nelson said. "The thing is that anybody in the heavyweight division can be champion any day just because of one punch. That's definitely how top tier that's just exactly how it is."