While welterweight Gunnar Nelson prepares for his upcoming fight at UFC Fight Night Rotterdam, Conor McGregor’s current debacle with the Ultimate Fighting Championship continues to steal the headlines.
Occasional training partner to the featherweight champion, Nelson gets insight others haven’t and told reporters at a recent media event(via BloodyElbow) how the Irishman is training for a possible rematch with Nate Diaz.
“I haven’t trained much with Conor since his last fight, but we did a week in Iceland,” Nelson said to media. “We always focus quite a bit on grappling, so I think his focus will be as it has been. Maybe focus on some specific things for his opponent, who is going to be again, bigger and longer. Some tactical strategies maybe for him specifically.”
McGregor was scheduled to face Nate Diaz at July’s landmark UFC 200 event in Las Vegas but was pulled from the event by UFC president Dana White for not partaking in media obligations, preferring to train with Nelson in Iceland.
As a firm believer in hard work, Nelson agrees with McGregor’s decision to boycott press work and thinks the 145-pound champ just needs space to train. Speaking about the ‘Notorious’ Irishman’s recent travails, Nelson explained why Conor took the drastic and somewhat impulse decision to announce his retirement.
“Also, I think he needs some time to train. Like we’ve seen, he retired that other day because he felt like he wasn’t getting the space to train. There was too many media obligations and things like that. If that’s how he feels, he definitely needs to get time to train on his own, and get some space.”
Nelson will try to bounce back from his UFC 194 loss to Damian Maia and will face a tough challenge in Albert Tumenov on Sunday night; the Russian is 5-1 since joining the UFC in early 2014.
UFC Fight Night 87 takes place this Sunday night at the Ahoy Rotterdam in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The main event will feature a heavyweight clash between Andrei Arlovski and Alistair Overeem.
James McDonald, Pundit Arena
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