After the emergence of a report suggesting that the UFC is planning to make its long-awaited return to Dublin in the not too distant future, SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh was quick to put one of his gym’s biggest names forward as a candidate for the main event slot.
MMAFighting reported on Friday that the world’s premier MMA promotion will stage an event at the 3Arena in Dublin’s docklands on May 27th, some 31 months after it last invaded Ireland for UFC Fight Night 76 in October of 2015, and Kavanagh seems to believe that a welterweight battle between his Icelandic submission savant Gunnar Nelson and surging Liverpudlian Darren Till would be an ideal headliner for the big occasion.
“If UFC were coming to Dublin late May,” wrote Kavanagh on Twitter, adding a number of rather well-informed looking emojis, “how would the fans feel about a Gunni v Till main event?”
Fans could choose between two possible answers, “excited” or “very excited.”
If UFC were coming to Dublin late May 😉😉😉 how would you the fans feel about a Gunni v Till main event?
— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) February 23, 2018
In January, Nelson vs. Till looked like a real possibility for UFC London on March 17th, with Kavanagh revealing that his man had signed a bout agreement. Unfortunately, the ‘Godfather of Irish MMA’ provided a disappointing update several days later, suggesting that Till was ill and unable to compete at the O2 Arena in his nation’s capital on St. Patrick’s Day.
Kavanagh did, however, add that Till had agreed to face ‘Gunni’ at a later date.
I'm sure Mr. Till will make his own statement but I believe he's ill. He has however agreed to face Gunni later in the year, speedy recovery 👍 However for now we need someone for March 17th. So if you're a ufc WW get onto Sean and get paid. Hope to get matched soon 🤞
— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) January 30, 2018
In his most recent outing, back in October, Till entered a star-making performance, obliterating popular veteran Donald Cerrone inside a round in the main event of UFC Gdansk. It was Till’s third straight victory since he drew with Nicolas Dalby at the aforementioned UFC Fight Night 76 event in Dublin two years prior and it moved him to 4-0-1 in the UFC. The 25-year-old Englishman is 16-0-1 overall. He currently sits at number seven in the UFC’s official welterweight rankings.
Nelson hasn’t fought since July of last year when he was brutally but controversially knocked out in a round by Argentine puncher Santiago Ponzinibbio at UFC Fight Night 113 in Glasgow. The stoic Nelson was subjected to several illegal eye-pokes during the brief bout. Prior to that setback, Nelson had won two fights in a row, submitting Albert Tumenov and Alan Jouban. The 29-year-old is 7-3 in the UFC and 16-3-1 overall. He sits thirteenth in the UFC’s 170-pound rankings.