Gunnar Nelson hit the MMA scene like the red-hot Icelandic fighter he is.
However, Nelson’s struggled a bit as of late, losing two of his last three to Demian Maia and Rick Story via decision. He’ll look to get back on track at UFC Fight Night 87 later this year vs. Albert Tumenov.
Nelson (14-2-1) started his UFC career with four straight wins, including three submissions. He’s since added a first round submission win over Brandon Thatch to his resume, but still feels the excitement that comes with taking on a test like Tumenov.
“I’m actually very happy with this fight,” he said, during a recent interview with Submission Radio. “I think he’s a very tough fighter and I think it’s a good challenge. I’m very much into martial arts and doing this as a challenge and for growing.
“I’m not the best ‘prize fighter,’ I believe and entertainer when it comes to all this kind of prize fighting stuff. I really like martial arts and mixed martial arts and I like competing. I like fighting and I like training.”
Much like he did in his five previous UFC wins, Nelson feels there is an opening that he can exploit in the game of Tumenov, who has improved to 17-2 on the heels of five consecutive victories.
“I definitely believe that I can find my advantages wherever it is,” he said. “Whether it’s on the feet or on the ground. You know, everyone has their own style. I’ve got my thing going on the feet, he’s got his. He seems to focus a lot on the striking, the kickboxing, that’s how he wins his fights.
“I do have a different style and I think I can definitely find my shots on the feet. But whatever the openings are, I will look for them and keep my mind open. If the takedown is there, I’ll take it. If a submission is there, I’ll take it. If the strikes are there, I’ll take them. I’ll just be moving around in there and keeping an open mind.”