Kyle Nelson believes Canadian sweep at UFC 289 will force the promotion to come back to Canada this year

By Cole Shelton - June 17, 2023

Kyle Nelson couldn’t be happier with how UFC 289 played out.

Kyle Nelson

The Octagon returned to Canada for the first time since 2019 on June 10th, as the promotion headed to Vancouver for UFC 289. On the card were five Canadians – six if you include Diana Belbita who calls Canada home – but many, including Kyle Nelson were the betting underdogs.

Yet, even though Nelson was the underdog, he was confident he would be able to hand Blake Bilder his first loss.

“I understand Blake’s style and I understand my own style,” Nelson said to “I understand those things more than the bookies or people picking fights. I’ve been getting better skill-wise but how I feel in the Octagon, I’ve been maturing and fighting a guy like Blake, I knew it would allow me to show off my skillset and once I could showcase my skillset, there aren’t many guys that can give me trouble.”

In the fight, Kyle Nelson used leg kicks to slow down Bilder and proved to be the much better striker. When the fight went to the scorecards, Nelson knew he would be the one getting his hand raised.

“I was 100 percent confident in the decision that I won. I know in the Herbert one, I was pretty sure I won, but it was close, and being the away guy and the last fight, with the point deduction I thought I would get it,” Nelson said. “This one, though, there was not a doubt in my mind that I won this fight. The only way this fight could have gone better is if I was able to get a quick knockout. But, with this win, I was able to answer a lot of questions about my cardio.”

Not only did Kyle Nelson get the win – in what he calls the best performance of his career – but every Canadian on the card won, as they collectively went 5-0. With the arena selling out and every Canadian winning, Nelson believes they forced the UFC to come back to Canada this year and hopes Toronto gets a pay-per-view event again in the very near future.

“I couldn’t ask for much better than that, obviously Toronto would be great, but I imagine they will be back soon. But all of us hype and are coming off great wins, we have so many Canadians now,” Nelson added. “Mike Malott seems like a future star, and Jasmine Jasudavicius is top-15 now, it just makes the Canadian fans even hungrier to get the UFC back soon. The way the event went and us getting a clean sweep, we made it hard for the UFC to not come back to Canada this year. We are building some stars and they have to strike while the iron is hot.”

Although Nelson got the job done and handed Bilder his first career loss, he isn’t sure what the win does for him. Instead, he says all he cares about is being active and start stringing together some wins.

“I just want to fight again; I’d like to fight at least one or two more times this year. So, whoever the UFC gives me, I’m fine with that. The hope is to return in two months,” Nelson concluded.

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


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