UFC heavyweight Roy Nelson has joined the UFC 161 fight card. News of Nelson stepping up first broke earlier this evening on UFC Tonight but USA Today/MMAJunkie reports that “Big Country” will face off with Stipe Miocic on the pay-per-view.
The heavyweight pairing was made once UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Baráo was eliminated from his headlining bout with Eddie Wineland due to injury. Wineland is unlikely to remain on the card, and could find himself the odd man out at bantamweight once UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz comes back later this year.
The Miocic-Nelson pairing does not make a lot of sense for Nelson, but the fan favorite is sure to entertain when he faces the Cleveland-native. The move leaves Soa Palelei without an opponent however, and the Australian will now serve as a backup if any injuries occur before the June fight card.
UFC 161 takes place June 15 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. A light heavyweight pairing between former UFC champion Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson will headline the card. The card is set to be co-headlined by a light heavyweight rematch Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua 2 but either fight could be promoted to main event status.
UFC 161 Fight Card:
Main Card (Pay-per-view 10PM ET)
- Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson
- Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Mauricio Rua
- Roy Nelson vs. Stipe Miocic
- Patrick Barry vs. Shawn Jordan
- Alexis Davis vs. Rosi Sexton
Preliminary Card (FX 8PM ET)
- Jake Shields vs. Tyron Woodley
- Sam Stout vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg
- Ryan Jimmo vs. Igor Pokrajac
Preliminary Card (Facebook 6PM ET)
- Yves Jabouin vs. Dustin Pague
- Sean Pierson vs. Anthony Waldburger
- Mitch Clarke vs. John Maguire
- Roland Delorme vs. Edwin Figueroa