Dutch Coach Hones Nelson’s Strikes

By Brian Knapp Dec 6, 2009
D. Mandel/Sherdog.com

LAS VEGAS -- Dutch muay Thai trainer Marco Van Den Broek spent the last three months working to sharpen and refine Roy Nelson’s stand-up skills, and their partnership paid immediate dividends.

Nelson put away the previously undefeated Brendan Schaub with a ringing right hand behind the ear in “The Ultimate Fighter 10” Finale main event on Saturday at the Palms Casino Resort. With one thudding blow, the 33-year-old former International Fight League champion announced his arrival in the sport’s marquee promotion.

“Now everybody knows who Roy Nelson is,” said Nelson, who was awarded a $25,000 bonus for “Knockout of the Night.”

Van Den Broek could not help but crack a smile, as the final right hand punctuated a well-timed three-punch combination.

“I was so happy,” he said. “We worked a lot on throwing combinations instead of single punches. We worked on that the whole time.”

Contrary to popular belief, Van Den Broek sees Nelson, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Renzo Gracie, as a willing student.

“He is coachable,” he said. “A lot of people think that he’s not coachable. He wants to talk about things, and I like that, and I want to show him why you have to do it a certain way.”

Van Den Broek, who also trains “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 7 winner Amir Sadollah, met Nelson by chance at Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts in Las Vegas when he struck up a conversation with the pudgy heavyweight’s wife. Nelson happened to be in search of a coach who could add dimension and variety to his stand-up attack.

“She pointed him out,” Van Den Broek said. “I asked, ‘The guy with the belly? The fat guy?’ I asked Amir Sadollah about him, and he said, ‘Yeah, he’s good. He’s fought [Andrei] Arlovski and [Jeff] Monson,’ so I looked him up. That’s actually how it started.”
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