Earlier this month, in the co-main event of the UFC’s latest trip to London, England, Icelandic welterweight Gunnar Nelson stepped onto the canvas with the ever dangerous Alan Jouban. In this compelling welterweight style clash, Nelson did what he does best: measuring and deconstructing his opponent until the window for a finish materializes, and capitalizing. The end came at the 46-second mark of round two, when Nelson floored Jouban with a punch, followed up with a high kick, then chased him to the mat to lock up a neck crank for the victory.
With this win, Nelson improved his overall record to an impressive 16-2-1. More impressive still is the fact that all but one of his 16 wins have come by way of knockout or submission. Yes, Gunnar Nelson is a true finisher, and this, he recently told ESPN, is the mark of a true champion:
“Some of these guys, they walk to their corners and I hear, ‘You’re up a round,'” he said. “It sounds to me like they’re focused on winning a round.”
“I feel like, if a fighter can finish, he needs to finish. If you want to be a true champion, you need to finish your fights. That’s my view on it. If you’re a champion and all your fights go the distance, you’ve shown you can hold a belt against top competition – but I want to be a true champion.”
Shortly after Nelson’s defeat of Jouban, his coach, John Kavanagh, suggested the Icelander be paired with fellow karate specialist Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. Thompson, however, recently told BJPENN.COM’s Chris Taylor that this fight is unlikely, and that he’s instead targeting bouts with Carlos Condit and Robbie Lawler.
What do you think of these comments from Gunnar Nelson? Who do you want to see him fight next? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/27/2017.