There is a monster in Ottawa.
And he is from Huntsville. Kyle “The Monster” Nelson is in the nation’s capital for his second ever bout in the UFC.
Last December Nelson was brought in as a last-second replacement for a UFC event in Toronto. He lost to Brazilian Carlos Diego Ferreira in the second round but showed fight bosses enough to ink a four-fight deal.
Tomorrow night at the Canadian Tire Centre Nelson (12-2) takes on Matt Sayles (7-2) in UFC 151. The 28-year-old has slimmed down to 145 pounds to take on the American.
To say he is a bit more prepared for this weekend’s fight is a major understatement. In his first outing he barely had four days notice, was trying to cut weight, get his credentials organized and gather intel on his opponent.
This time around he has had nearly five months of prep time, got the training assistance of Huntsville based The Sport Lab and is generally in a way better place mentally and physically.
“Basically right after the last fight we got right back into training,” says Nelson from Ottawa. “We’ve been looking at getting better and more prepared.”
With the last minute nature of the Toronto fight, not as many people were able to get tickets and hotels organized. Nelson figures he will have a lot of fans from Muskoka, Stoney Creek (where he also trains) and Canadian fight fans in general.
“Everyone that wanted to was able to get tickets,” he says. “I’m going to be at 110 per cent and be able to showcase what a Muskoka boy can do.”
While he has been concentrating on his own preparation, he has been doing homework on his opponent, Californian Sayles.
“For the most part it is about making sure I am better,” Nelson explains. “Then we’ll critique some of the stuff I am good at for the individual opponent.”
Part of his preparation included a month in Las Vegas at the UFC’s main training gym. Nelson was blown away by what was provided, from world-class gym facilities, medical staff, and even on-call chefs to answer his every nutritional need.
“It was pretty awesome,” he admits. “Having access to the facility, they have top of the line everything. It was definitely nice to go down to the UFC Performance Institute and I just give them the program the Sport Lab made and they make all the food and they look after everything for me.”
With his wife and family looking on this will be a critical stage in his career. A win will likely cement more contracts to fight going forward. A loss and he could see his opportunities with Dana White and the UFC begin to fade.