I don’t think anyone that’s Roy Nelson’s size is ever offended by being called ‘Big Country.’ It’s probably a rite of passage, like tribal children having to stick their hands into an ant pile to prove if they’re truly a man. Roy Nelson’s neck muscles have very important news to tell you. The type of news that CNN will never cover in fear that it will make their entire American audience simultaneously dropkick their television out of pure excitement. Roy Nelson is a fun guy to watch explode in the cage. For a dude of his size, you would think he would rely on continental drift to submit his opponents. However, Nelson is like a mongoose in the cage. Let me rephrase that, Nelson is like 82 mongooses sewn together into one extra-large mongoose with exactly the same speed as a regular, non-Frankensteined mongoose. Now according to Dr. Michael Kelly in a Fightland interview, there’s a medical reason why Roy Nelson can’t really be knocked out.
Nelson might have extremely strong neck muscles. Strong neck muscles can cut down on the rotational force of a hit. A lot of what determines whether someone gets knocked out has to do with where the force is transmitted into the brain. Where there’s a very strong rotational force on the skull-shots that come from the side, like hook punches, rather than straight linear shots–most of that vector force gets transmitted down into the brainstem area into what’s called the reticular activating system and that’s what’s responsible for being awake. So when you go to sleep, certain cells on the reticular activating system will get stimulated and go to sleep. When you wake up, certain cells will get stimulated and you wake up. It’s actually multiple tracks in the lower brain stem. Together they’re called the reticular activating system. And you have a layer of fluid surrounding the brain on the upper part. Again, with a very strong rotational force on the skull, say from a hook punch to the side of the jaw, what happens is there’s motion on the top of the skull because the brain is sort of floating, but as you get down to the base where it’s anchored, it’s tighter. It doesn’t have as much give. So that’s when you get that kinking in that part of the brain and that causes loss of consciousness… So as you’re hitting on the side and you rotate the head, it’s a little bit easier to transmit that force to rotate the head. Whereas, when you’re hitting direct on at the button of the chin, sometimes it’s a little harder with a very strong mandible. That’s where the shape of the jaw comes in. It’s all a matter of shape and size. It has to do with the ability to transmit the force to the base of the skull.
So what’s the deal with this Roy Nelson? Is he being an ironic hipster intentionally, or is it just a natural progression that he stumbled upon when he woke up one morning? The mullet hatching on the back of his head looks as if it’s evolving into a mid-80s rat tail. It’s like his hair is so hip that the extra moved off the top of his head in order to do something so underground that you probably won’t even understand it.