Roy Nelson (born June 20, 1976) is an American mixed martial artist who competes in the Heavyweight division of Bellator MMA. A professional competitor since 2004, he formerly competed for the UFC, EliteXC, the IFL, BodogFIGHT, and was the winner of The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights. Nelson is also the former IFL Heavyweight Champion, competing under Ken Shamrock and the Lion's Den. Nelson is widely regarded as possessing one of the greatest chins of all time.
Nelson was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and attended Cimarron-Memorial High School, where he competed in wrestling, football, and baseball. Nelson briefly trained in Karate and began training in Ark Wong's Ng Ga Kuen Shaolin Kung Fu when he was 15 years old. Nelson worked briefly as a warehouse worker in 1999. Nelson originally began training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under UFC veteran John Lewis in 2000 and after working as a school teacher for a few years, Nelson began his own career in mixed martial arts. Nelson has been a long time student of Brazilian jiu-jitsu master Renzo Gracie, who granted him a black belt on August 26, 2009. Nelson was known initially for his strong Jiu-Jitsu game, and has competed at the Abu Dhabi Grappling Championships.