UFC welterweight Gunnar Nelson spoke to ESPN recently about his long-time training partner Conor McGregor’s future in the sport of mixed martial arts.
Gunnar Nelson’s year got off the best possible start when he scored an emphatic second round submission over the highly-touted Alan Jouban at UFC London last month. For Gunni, it marked his second straight win since his crushing loss to Demian Maia at UFC 194, and for the first time in a while, signaled his return to the outskirts of the 170lb title picture.
For Nelson, however, his status as a long-term training partner of the UFC’s lightweight champion Conor McGregor put him a position to answer several questions recently about the future of his SBG Ireland teammate, questions that have been going unanswered for some time now given that the Irishman has been having a relatively quiet few months.
With McGregor’s focus now apparently on the world of boxing, Nelson spoke to ESPN recently and gave his own take on the future of the Notorious One, voicing his doubts over the chances of us seeing him inside the octagon inside the current calendar year.
“[His return to the UFC] will depend on certain things. Money is not the only thing he cares about, at all. He does care about it a lot, but if a fight excites him and he thinks it’s a great challenge, if it’s making history and all that kind of stuff — he’ll do it. He’s got a lot of money now that keeps him occupied. He can do a lot of stuff. I think he’d be alright for a year. He always has something cooking. Right now, it’s the Mayweather fight, and that seems like it’s going to happen. I think he’ll keep himself busy one way or another.”
“He needs to keep himself busy in some way, because he’s a pretty hyper guy. He’s not just sitting around the house. If he wouldn’t have anything to do, he’d probably be up to no good. He’ll always figure something out. He needs excitement.”
Nelson trains out of both SBG in Ireland and Mjolnir MMA in his home-country of Iceland and despite his radically different personality to his brash and outspoken gym-mate, has been a long-time friend and ally of the sport of MMA’s biggest star.
Right now, all things concerning McGregor remain completely unclear but with the year of 2017 only just getting started, you can expect to hear big news on the subject of the former two-weight world champion sooner rather than later.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena