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John Kavanagh Blasts Decision To Reject Gunnar Nelson’s Loss Appeal

The SBG Ireland head-coach has issued a response to the news that the UFC have denied Gunnar Nelson’s appeal of his UFC Glasgow loss to Santiago Ponzinibbio in July.

Gunnar Nelson went into his last fight holding a professional record of 16-2-1 with his two sole losses coming by way of decision but following his match-up with top-15 welterweight Santiago Ponzinibbio at UFC Glasgow, Gunni left the octagon with his first loss by way of finish.

It was a sad night for those invested in the SBG Ireland/Mjolnir MMA product but despite the fight only lasting a grand total of 82 seconds, a lot transpired during its short run time that had fans outraged.

On second viewing, it became clear to see that Ponzinibbio had poked the Icelandic fighter in his eye on three separate occasions, with the final one being the most damaging. Nelson had actually started quite well, in fact, and had been tagging his opponent using his darting karate style but after he received the third poke just after the one-minute mark, Ponzinibbio swarmed him, tagged him on the chin and caused referee Leon Roberts to call the bout to a halt.

Understandably, Nelson, Coach Kavanagh and their team called on the UFC to overturn the result, citing the poke as an obstruction worthy of a ‘no-contest’ call but recently it came to light that the UFC have decided to reject their appeal, something that resulted in a statement made by Kavanagh, which was released shortly after and can be read in full below.

It’s pretty unfortunate for Gunnar himself as he was just fresh off of an outstanding second round submission win over Alan Jouban but once again, despite his clear talent and undeniable potential, he will have to gather himself, reassess and make another crack at establishing himself in the 170lb top 10.

Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena

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Author: Cillian Cunningham

Lead mixed martial arts writer who can be contacted at