UFC 231: Gunnar Nelson eyes ‘energetic 2019’ after ‘annoying’ time on sidelines – EXCLUSIVE
Accidents have restricted the fan-favourite to simply two appearances within the cage within the final 24 months.
Nelson was not too long ago scheduled to lock horns with Neil Magny within the co-main occasion of the UFC’s debut card in Liverpool in Could.
A knee damage put paid to these plans and meant followers of the Iceland native must wait some time longer to see him again in motion.
“It was very annoying,” Nelson informed Categorical Sport when reflecting of his withdrawal from UFC Combat Night time 130. “We’d been attempting to get a match-up for some time and eventually we get Neil Magny, who I used to be actually blissful about combating – an amazing fighter, and I used to be actually enthusiastic about that matchup.
“After which for that to occur at that timing is – per week earlier than a struggle I bust my knee utterly, it sucked. However that’s the sport typically.”
Welcoming the Mjolnir and SBG product again to the cage will probably be Alex Oliveira, an opponent Nelson is delighted to have after his longer than anticipated layoff.
“I’m blissful,” Nelson stated of his match-up with Oliveira. “However to be sincere with you, I’d’ve taken anybody at this stage because it’s been so lengthy that I’ve fought. I simply needed to get in there.
“Alex is a superb fighter and he’s a ranked fighter as nicely. So I used to be actually proud of this match-up.”
Oliveira, the No.13 ranked 170-pounder on this planet, is likely one of the extra sterner exams Nelson may’ve been given in his return given his relentless ahead stress and kill-or-be-killed mentality.
Nelson isn’t anticipating the Muay Thai practitioner to deviate from his typical recreation plan, saying: “I’m anticipating him to come back out fairly wild and attempting to complete this struggle early.
“I feel that may in all probability be his technique. He in all probability needs to maintain this standing and expects me to wish to are available in for a takedown.
“He’s a wild man, he’s a fighter and he likes to have a scrap. And I feel that may signify in what he’s going to attempt to do on Saturday.”
Weathering a storm has by no means been a difficulty for Nelson, who absolutely expects to do exactly that earlier than bringing the struggle all the way down to his area and ending off ‘Cowboy’.
He stated: “I can see a number of completely different situations. However I feel it’s going to most definitely find yourself on the bottom sooner or later and I feel that will probably be my end. Whether or not it’s a strike to get all the way down to the bottom or a takedown, we’ll see. However most fights go the bottom sooner or later.”
Though he was left pissed off by his extended time on the sidelines, Nelson did have the chance to spend extra time together with his household and his four-year-old son.
However ‘Gunni’ is hoping for a far busier 2019 so he can restart his ascent up the welterweight rankings.
“Ideally, I wish to be much more energetic in 2019. I actually really feel that I’ve missed a while out,” he stated. “So to get an excellent few fights in 2019 can be ideally suited.”
Nelson has by no means been one to miss his opponents however is hoping to seek out himself on the cusp of a title shot this time subsequent 12 months.
“I often take it one struggle at a time, however I undoubtedly wish to maintain busy subsequent 12 months,” the 30-year-old stated. “Simply maintain climbing and we’ll see. Hopefully, we’ll get near a title shot subsequent 12 months.”
Watch UFC 231: Holloway vs Ortega reside on BT Sport three from 1am, with the prelims completely reside on UFC FIGHT PASS from 11.15pm.