Iceland’s Gunnar Nelson is back in the Octagon
The past few years have been eventful for 26-year-old Gunnar Nelson. He signed on to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Mixed Martial Arts’ premier league, in 2012, and has ploughed through four fights there, all the while maintaining an undefeated record.
He now has a total of thirteen victories and one draw under his belt and is ranked as number twelve in the welterweight weight division. He may have his biggest fight ahead of him, however, as he faces veteran fighter Rick “The Horror” Story, headlining the UFC Fight Night event in Stockholm, Sweden on October 4.
Rick has been with the UFC since 2009 and fought sixteen fights in the division, winning ten of them. Unlike Gunnar, who is known for being calm and collected at all times, Rick has a very aggressive style and stays in his opponents’ faces. Although he has had mixed success in the last three years, winning four fights and losing five, he’s faced some of the very best fighters in the division, including title contenders and the current champion, Johny Hendricks.
Both fighters are taking this bout seriously, with Rick saying that both have something to prove. Gunnar is, as always, unfazed about fighting someone with a longer resume than him. “Every fight you should treat like your toughest fight,” he said, unperterbed, at a recent press conference. “I’m getting ready the best way I can, but sometimes the toughest guys on paper will not be your toughest fights. You won’t know until you get in there.”
During the training camp for his last fight in July, Gunnar’s girlfriend gave birth to their first child, and Gunnar had planned to take some time off. When the UFC reached out to him and offered him the fight with Rick, however, he jumped on the opportunity, as the fight will be the main event of the night against a well-known fighter.
Gunnar has said that win or lose, he’ll want to spend some time with his newly expanded family after the fight.