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Hafthor ‘The Mountain’ Bjornsson is part of the reason Gunnar Nelson hasn’t fought in years

Gunnar Nelson

Gunnar Nelson injury

Gunnar Nelson has not fought since September 2019 and has finally revealed the reason why.

With his coach, John Kavanagh, recently saying that the Icelandic fighter would return soon, Nelson decided it was time to reveal why he had been gone.

As it goes with so many fighters, Nelson’s prolonged absence from the octagon came from injuries.

Gunnar Nelson opens up on injury hell.

Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Nelson explained the situation.

“I had a really bad injury that took a long time to recover from, I had two rib injuries back-to-back. I don’t know if you’ve had a rib injury but it’s horrible. It takes a long time and they can be so crippling.

“They’re just terrible it was at the top here so it affects the shoulder, affects the breathing, affects everything. I had two, on each side, but separate injuries.”

Helwani was able to guess that a second injury is what prevented Nelson from returning earlier on, back when Kavanagh originally said he would.

“That’s what happened. It was two injuries, one of them that I’d had a while ago, actually, just before the [Gilbert] Burns fight. I went into that fight, fought that fight and recovered.

“Then, later, I got a probably even worse injury on the other side of my rib. Yeah, fuck it. You’ve probably seen the video of me and The Mountain rolling. This is where it happened actually.”


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Big trouble.

In what may be news for Hafthor ‘The Mountain’ Bjornsson, Nelson explained how he injured himself by rolling with the mountain.

“I haven’t spoken to him about it. I don’t think he knows but I think this is the first time I’ve spoken about it. It happened there, it was fun, I enjoyed it but I wanted to get an armbar from the bottom.

“It was my mission because, obviously, it’s a hard thing against somebody like him and he knows a little bit. He knows how to use his weight a bit and he’s 160 kilos of pure muscle. ”

Nelson set himself a challenge to finish ‘The Mountain’ in style but his plans may have been ambitious given the size of his opposition.

“I catch him with an armbar from the top but I want to get it from the bottom and so I try to do that in the second round, he collapses on top of me and I could feel a nasty pop and seconds after.

“I could just feel it swelling up but something in me was like, I’m not going to say anything now, I’m just going to finish the round.

“It happens again where I get curled up like this and he pulls all his weight and at this stage I’m just having real problems with my arm and breathing and stuff.

“I’m just thinking, ‘I have to wait for him to show his neck and we can get this over with’ because it’s too late to stop now and say that I hurt myself.”

While Nelson enjoyed the session, he admitted that it may not have been the best idea.

“It was a really fun thing but it was probably stupid… I probably should have stopped when it happened.”

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