It sure didn't take long for Roy Nelson to make waves on the set of "The Ultimate Fighter 16."
UFC President Dana White said this past week that the "TUF 10" winner and coach of the reality show's latest installment was already creating trouble in his new role.
"It's probably because he wants to be a fighter, and he's not," Nelson countered in a recent interview with MMAjunkie.com
Talking about Nelson's presence on the reality show, which debuts on FX in September, White called the fighter a chronic "pain in the ass" in an interview
with MMA Fighting.
"The first day, as soon as we start filming, he starts shooting his mouth off and saying dumb [expletive]," White said.
"TUF 16" pits 32 up-and-coming welterweights against each other in a single-elimination tournament for a UFC contract. Nelson (17-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC) and Shane Carwin (12-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) coach opposing squads of fighters, after which they are scheduled to meet in a traditional season-ending fight. The long-running show returns to its pre-taped format after the 15th installment used a live format earlier this year.
Nelson said the on-set conflict stemmed from his choices for his assistant coaching staff, which included Olympic gold medalist and pro-wrestling veteran Kurt Angle, former Strikeforce champ Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal, and convicted steroid dealer turned anti-steroid advocate Victor Conte.
"I think we were talking about coaching or something like that, and [White's] not a coach," he said. "There's an understanding of being a fighter, and I don't think he understands."
After meeting resistance with his initial choices, Nelson leaked a list approved and unapproved by the UFC, which included Chael Sonnen, Rashad Evans, welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre, and Nick and Nate Diaz. He said he had to "work around some issues" and that his staff was unapproved.
"I'm always at the back of the bus when it comes to the UFC," he said. "I'm just trying to further MMA to the next level, hold journalism up to higher standards, holding fights to higher standards, holding promotions to higher standards, holding athletic commissions to higher standards, and even holding the fans to higher standards."