A welterweight scrap between perennial division contenders Gunnar Nelson and Leon Edwards served as the co-headliner for today’s UFC London event.
Leon Edwards (16-3 MMA) entered tonight’s contest on a six-fight winning streak. In his most recent effort at June’s UFC Singapore event, Edwards defeated Donald Cerrone via unanimous decision.
Round one of the UFC London co-main event begins and Gunnar Nelson takes the center of octagon in his classic stance. He rattles off a high kick and then pushes Edwards against the cage. Nelson works for a takedown. Edwards is defending well but Nelson is relentless. Gunnar finally secures the takedown. He looks to pass guard but Edwards scrambles and gets back to his feet. Gunnar still has a hold of him and drags him back down to the canvas. Once again Edwards is able to get back to his feet rather quickly. The fighters battle along the cage and Edwards picks Nelson up and slams him down. He immediately moves to the back of Gunnar. Good shots from Edwards now. He has one hook locked in and lands a nice left. More short punches from Edwards. Nelson scrambles and is able to break free and get up to his feet. Gunnar comes forward in his karate stance. Edwards connects with a body kick. The horn sounds to end round one.
Round two begins and Edwards throws a low kick. Gunnar leaps in with a high that is blocked. Edwards just misses with a straight left up the middle. Gunnar leaps in with a right that Leon easily avoids. Edwards with a low kick but it misses the mark. Nelson leaps in with a knee. The fighters clinch and Edwards lands a knee to the body. He lands another and then an elbow over the top. Edwards misses with a left hook and Gunnar shoots in and presses him against the cage. Knees from Nelson now. Edwards switches the position and breaks free. Two minutes remain in round two. Nelson lands a jab and then forces the clinch. He lands a pair of knees before Edwards is able to break free. The crowd is crying for action. Nelson leaps in with a right hand that misses. Edwards circles to his left. Gunnar catches up to him and grabs the clinch. Edwards with a nice knee and then an elbow from the position. Another elbow and Gunnar is down. Edwards jumps on him with ground and pound. Massive strikes. Gunnar somehow survives but his face is a mess.
Round three begins and Nelson likely needs a finish to get the win. He comes forward and immediately shoots in for a takedown. Edwards does an excellent job of defending. Nelson continues to look for a single leg but Edwards breaks free. Gunnar chases after him and throws an overhand right. He presses Edwards against the cage and lands a knee. Edwards breaks free from the clinch. Three minutes remain in the final round of this the UFC London co-main event. Nelson once again dives in for a takedown. He can’t seem to wrap Edwards up. Leon switches the position against the cage and looks for a trip. He gets it but Nelson is right back to his feet. Edwards is still on his back. Gunnar scrambles and gets free. Edwards circles along the fence. Gunnar leaps in with a right hand and then scores a takedown. He has just over one minute to work. He immediately moves to full mount and there is forty-five seconds to do something. Right hands from Gunnar Nelson now. Edwards is doing a good job of hanging on here. Ten seconds remain. This fight is going to the judges scorecards for decision.
Official UFC London Result: Leon Edwards def. Gunnar Nelson via split decision (27-29, 29-28, 29-28)