Gunnar Nelson returned to winning ways on Saturday when he submitted Brazilian welterweight Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira at UFC 231.
Nelson was in control of the contest and landed a nasty elbow to the face of Oliveira, the resulting elbow drew one of the most gruesome cuts seen inside the Octagon as Oliveira spilt blood all over the canvass.
Oliveira returned to his native Brazil where he spoke to MMA Fighting and revealed the extent of the damage Nelson’s elbow inflicted upon him.
“38 stitches, man. They did 38 stitches,” Oliveira told MMA Fighting.
“But it’s part of the game, right, man? Like you said, that elbow completely changed the course of the fight.”
The official result went down as a Gunnar Nelson victory due to a rare-naked choke, however, Oliveira revealed that it was not the choke that forced him to tap, rather the massive gash he sustained after Nelson landed that huge elbow.
“The rear-naked choke was in, but I was alive, I was fine. The problem was all that blood,” Oliveira said.
“When I put my hand on my forehead I felt everything was f***ing open, I couldn’t see anything. Even if I made out of that round, the referee wouldn’t let me continue.”
Whatever the result, the Brazilian Cowboy is keeping his head held high after the fight, he will now take some time off the let the injury heal before jumping right back in and preparing for his next fight.
“This loss was a win for me. We also learn when we lose, right?” Oliveira said.
“I keep my head held high. Let’s prepare for the next one. I can’t train now, but I can’t stand still. I need to do something. Losses are part of the game, we understand that. That elbow changed everything. It was his day, not mine, and I accept it. Let’s work for the next one.”