Brett Okamoto of ESPN has revealed that the UFC are close to confirming a welterweight showdown between Gunnar Nelson and Alex Oliveira for UFC 231.
UFC 231 is shaping up to be one of the year’s greatest MMA events.
A pair of title fights that will see the featherweight and women’s flyweight titles on the line would be enough to warrant a PPV buy alone but from top-to-bottom the card is stacked with compelling matchups.
According to Brett Okamoto, the UFC are looking to add another riveting contest to that lineup – a showdown between Gunnar Nelson and the highly dangerous Brazilian, Alex Oliveira.
Per sources, UFC close to finalizing a welterweight bout between Gunnar Nelson and Alex 'Cowboy' Oliveira for UFC 231 on Dec. 8 in Toronto. Fun addition to a card I'm already in love with between Holloway/Ortega and Valentina/Joanna.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) October 24, 2018
Nelson’s UFC run hasn’t seen him come through with the type of momentum you would expect of a fighter of his talents.
Injuries and instances of plain bad luck have hindered his progression and while almost everyone is aware of the fact that his last outing against Santiago Ponzinibbio was a loss that was clearly effected by the numerous eye-pokes his Argentinian adversary caught him with, the time has come for Gunni to make his run at the belt.
In Alex Oliveira, you have the 13th-ranked welterweight in the world – a brutal finisher who has only lost once in his last eight fights. ‘Cowboy’ has really established himself as a fan favourite in recent times – with his UFC 218 showdown with Yancy Medeiros the deserving winner of 2017’s Fight of the Year award.
It’s a tough fight for both men but a fantastic addition to UFC 231.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena