Roy Nelson: “I feel like I can beat anyone that is in the heavyweight division.”

Since Roy Nelson showed up in the UFC as an Ultimate Fighter winner the 35-year old veteran has fought of the division’s best including current champ Junior dos Santos who he went the distance with. With another “Top 10” opponent around the corner in the form of Fabricio Werdum at UFC 143, Nelson has another stiff challenge in front of him, yet it appears that’s the way “Big Country” likes it.

Nelson provided some insight into his mentality in a recent interview where he revealed his thrives off facing top level adversaries.

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“I feel like I can beat anyone that is in the heavyweight division,” began Nelson in an interview with the UFC’s website.

“Ever since I started fighting, I’ve just always wanted to fight the best in the world. Move up the rankings and fight the best in the world. I think that’s pretty much always my goal. You only retire when you can’t compete with the best in the world still,” he continued while referring to Dan Henderson as someone who is still doing so despite his age.

As far as Werdum, a 14-5-1 grappler with a number of major wins under his belt, Nelson made it clear he’s not taking “Vai Cavalo” lightly.

“I saw the fight with (Alistair) Overeem and Overeem was very tentative because Fabricio is a guy who can beat you in a lot of spots. Fabricio had already beaten Overeem (in the past), so it’s not like he wasn’t cautious because of that. The biggest thing with Fabricio is he is a well-rounded martial artist,” Nelson explained. “He actually beat Overeem on the standup. You have to be definitely cautious with his ground game because of what he’s done to Fedor (Emelianenko) and what he’s done to a lot of fighters in the UFC. I’ve prepared myself to be the most well-rounded mixed martial artist.”

Other than beating Werdum and moving closer to his dream of fighting for a UFC title, Nelson also has another goal for this weekend’s event.

“Everyone has goals and you just have to make sure you accomplish them. Expectation wise for this fight, it’s just to go out there and win and put on a show, so that the fans will appreciate it.”

Catch Nelson-Werdum on the PPV portion of the card with things starting up at 10:00 PM EST. UFC 143 is headlined by an interim title-fight featuring Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit. Prelims start a few hours earlier on Facebook/FX.