Gunnar Nelson is back and in a very big way.
On Saturday night at UFC 231 in Toronto, Gunnar Nelson returned to the octagon for the first time since his devastating loss to Santiago Ponzinibbio in July 2017. If he still had any doubters before last night, he certainly hasn’t got any now.
Nelson and his opponent Oliveira who was coming off two wins in a row, got into a dogfight at the Scotiabank Arena, with “Cowboy” engaging in some questionable tactics from the off.
He landed an early strike to the back of Nelson’s head and attempted to block a takedown with a blatant grab of the fence which inevitably earned him a warning and a point deduction from the referee. That, however, was an indication of how the fight would be. Scrappy.
After a back and forth first round, Nelson took over in the second and the jiu-jitsu standout went to work on the ground putting on a clinic for the near 20,000 in attendance.
Constantly improving his position Nelson landed shot after shot on Oliveira before landing the killer blow. The Icelandic fighter struck “Cowboy” across the forehead which opened up a horrific cut on his opponent, as the end drew near. A rear-naked choke later and Nelson was back.
Gunnar Nelson def. Alex Oliveira by submission (RNC) at 4:17 of round 2: Welterweight https://t.co/QKnQRhWajp
— Can'tSleepWon'tSleep (@CSWSpodcast) December 9, 2018
“It ended the way I expected,” Nelson said. “I believe he hit me in the back of the head, he caught me with the shot and got me a little bit disorientated. I was surviving there, but I was able to finish the job.”
“He’s a scrappy son of a b*tch.”
Nelson who is number 14 in the welterweight rankings will surely be looking for a top 10 ranked fighter in his next bout which many fight fans surely hope will come sooner rather than later.
Welcome back, Gunni. Nelson slices Cowboy open and then subs him with an RNC. Vicious.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 9, 2018
Gunni Nelson is BACK!! Wicked elbows from mount after a back and forth scrap over a SUPER tough Oliveira! #UFC231
— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) December 9, 2018