Welterweights Demian Maia (22-6 MMA) and Gunnar Nelson (14-1-2 MMA) squared off in the second bout of the UFC 194 main card.
Gunnar Nelson was able to score an early takedown in round one. After a mad scramble, Maia was able to take the back of Nelson. Demian locks in the hooks and begins searching for a rear-naked choke. Gunnar is fighting off the submission well, so Maia opts to land punches to soften up his opponent. Maia attempts an armbar but Nelson is able to escape and winds up in top position, which is how the opening round would end.
Round two begins and Maia is able to land a takedown. It is short-lived however, as Nelson is able to sweep Maia and return to his feet. The fighters start battling in the clinch against the fence and Maia is able to get Nelson back down and take his back. Nelson stands up but Maia still has his hooks in. The fight heads back to the floor and Maia begins raining down punches on Nelson. Gunnar scrambles and is able to turn in to top position. Maia is able to score a sweep of his own and winds up back on top. Big elbows from Maia. Gunnar is busted up. Maia moves to full mount and delivers more elbows to end round two.
Round three starts and Maia begins working his jab. The Brazilian uses the strikes to shoot in for a takedown. Nelson is able to stuff it initially but Demian is relentless. Maia in top control and landing shots to the body of Nelson. Maia is able to move to Gunnar’s back and locks in a body triangle. He begins searching for a rear-naked choke but Nelson is defending well. Gunnar is able to turn in to top position with seconds left in round three but he has clearly lost this fight.
Demian Maia defeats Gunnar Nelson via decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-25)