Nelson was on the receiving end of some rather blatant eye-pokes during his last octagon outing, his UFC Glasgow headliner against Santiago Ponzinibbio.
UFC Glasgow’s main-event seemed to be going as well as the SBG/Mjölnir welterweight could have hoped for at first. His movement looked sharp and the powerhouse that stood across from him wasn’t able to get his own game off at all.
But then came the now-infamous eye-pokes that clearly swung the momentum of the fight completely in Ponzinibbio’s favour.
The finish that followed was brutal and at times, hard to watch for those who have followed Gunni’s progress over the years.
Speaking on a recent edition of the Obviously Fight Talk podcast, Gunnar explained that he still has his eye on the Argentinian, regardless of the fact that his hands will be full with Alex Oliveira at UFC 231.
“I would definitely like to get that rematch with Ponzinibbio. That’s definitely the one that I would like to get. I think I will get it. I’m not too stressed out.
“It is what it is. For me, I wasn’t really pushing the appeal. It went like it went. What happens afterwards doesn’t matter. What happened happened, and I know what happened.
“I know you want to correct things and your record but to me, what happened happened. And the only reason I went through with [the appeal] is to make a point.
“If this happens again to the next fighter, it will at least open people’s eyes to this kind of stuff. It needs to be addressed because it happens quite a lot.”
It really did look like a deliberate eye-poke from afar – judging by the replays.
Of course, it’s very easy for us to sit here and say that but even still, the sheer number of times it happened over the course of the very short bout adds enough weight to this argument to rule out any notion that this is merely bad excuse-making.
“It is cheating and I think it is deliberate in some of these cases. In mine I definitely think it is because it’s hard to eyepoke someone four or five times or whatever it was in the space of 90 seconds.
“At this level, you don’t want to see that.
“If it was me, you don’t want to win this way either.”
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena