Gunnar Nelson (fighter)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the musician, see Gunnar Nelson.
Gunnar Nelson
Gunnar about2.jpg
Born (1988-07-28) July 28, 1988 (age 27)
Akureyri, Iceland
Other names Gunni
Residence Reykjavík, Iceland
Nationality Icelandic
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)[1]
Weight 77 kg (169 lb)
Division Welterweight
Reach 72.0 in (183 cm)[1]
Stance Orthodox
Fighting out of Reykavik, Iceland
Team Mjölnir
SBG Ireland
Rank      Black belt in Gōjū-ryū Karate[2]
     Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Renzo Gracie[2]
Years active 2007–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total 17
Wins 14
By knockout 3
By submission 10
By decision 1
Losses 2
By decision 2
Draws 1
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Gunnar Nelson
Medal record
Competitor for  Iceland
World Jiu-Jitsu Championship (Gi)
Silver medal – second place 2009 Middleweight (Brown)[3]
Pan American Championship (Gi)
Gold medal – first place 2009 Middleweight (Brown)[4]
Pan American Championship (No-Gi)
Gold medal – first place 2009 Middleweight (Black)[5]
Silver medal – second place 2009 Absolute (Black)[5]

Gunnar Lúðvík Nelson (born 28 July 1988) is an Icelandic mixed martial artist currently competing in the welterweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He is a black belt in BJJ which was awarded by Renzo Gracie after impressive results at the 2009 IBJJF Pan-Ams and the 2009 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship.[6] As of January 2016, he is #15 in official UFC welterweight rankings.[7]


Early life[edit]

Nelson was born in Akureyri in the north side of Iceland but has lived in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland, almost all his life from early childhood. He played football and ice hockey in his childhood years. At the age of 13, he started training in Gōjū-ryū Karate and won the Icelandic Juvenile Kumite Championship title in 2003, and again in 2004 and 2005. He took home medals in every karate tournament he participated in during 2003 to 2005. In 2005, he was chosen Iceland's most promising up-and-coming karate talent of that year, when he was just 16. However, he gave up karate to train in a more demanding, and physically testing art, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and grappling at age 17. Gunnar's father, Haraldur Dean Nelson, is of American and Icelandic descent. Gunnar's mother, Guðrún Hulda Gunnarsdóttir Nelson, is Icelandic. Gunnar has one sibling, a sister named María Dögg Nelson born 1992 in Reykjavík.[8][9]

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu[edit]

In 2009, Nelson received his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from Renzo Gracie,[10] earned with an outstanding performance that year, which included a silver in the 2009 Mundials brown belt category,[3] gold at the 2009 Pan American Championship (Gi),[4] gold and silver (open class) in the 2009 Pan American Championship (No-Gi)[5] and the 2009 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship where Gunnar took 4th place in the absolute category where he defeated the much heavier and touted BJJ Black Belts Jeff Monson and David Avellan.[11][12] Gunnar was again offered a place in the 2011 ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship and had a good run (though not bringing home any medals) defeating the then present and twofold European Champion and multiple Finnish champion Marko Helen and the Brazilian and American champion and former World Champion Bruno Frazzato.[13]

Gunnar fights out of the Icelandic MMA club Mjölnir in Reykjavik, where he is an instructor, but he has also trained and fought out of SBG Ireland in Dublin where his coach has been John Kavanagh, SBG Mainline in Manchester where his coach has been Karl Tanswell and the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York where he trains under Renzo Gracie and John Danaher.[13] Gunnar began training with Kavanagh at age 17, when Kavanagh was making frequent trips to Iceland from his home base in Ireland, and training a group there.[14] Gunnar uses his BJJ as his primary method of offence in MMA.

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

In May 2007, Nelson fought in mixed martial arts for the first time, in Copenhagen, Denmark. The fight was against Danish fighter John Olesen. The judges ruled the bout a draw.

Nelson won five more fights in the 16 months following his debut, in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Denmark, before taking a break from the sport for almost two years. He returned at BAMMA 2: Roundhouses at the Roundhouse in February 2010 and defeated opponent Sam Elsdon via submission in the first round. He secured another first round victory in his next fight against Danny Mitchell at Cage Contender 6 in Manchester, England before returning to BAMMA later that year. His next appearance was at BAMMA 4: Reid vs. Watson in September 2010 where he faced previously unbeaten British prospect Eugene Fadiora and won by submission in the first round.[15] In February 2012, Nelson returned to MMA with a first round armbar submission win over Ukrainian fighter Alexander Butenko at Cage Contender 12 in Dublin Ireland. In late 2012 Nelson signed a multi-fight agreement with the UFC.[16]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Gunnar signed a multifight contract with the UFC in July 2012.[17] He's the first and still the only fighter from Iceland to fight for the company.

Nelson was expected to make his promotional debut against Pascal Krauss on September 29, 2012 at UFC on Fuel TV: Struve vs. Miocic.[18] However, Krauss was forced out of the bout with an injury (Rich Attonito was shortly linked to fighting Nelson but he had weight concerns and also pulled out) and Nelson was expected to face DaMarques Johnson at a catchweight bout of 175 lb,[19] but his opponent could not make the required weight. The fight was contested at 183 lbs (Nelson weighed in 175 lbs).[20] Nelson submitted Johnson via rear-naked choke at the 3:34 mark of the first round.[21]

Nelson was expected to face Justin Edwards on February 16, 2013 at UFC on Fuel TV: Barao vs. McDonald.[22] However, Edwards was forced to pull out of the bout citing an injury, and was replaced by returning veteran Jorge Santiago.[23] Nelson won the fight by unanimous decision.[24]

Nelson was expected to face Mike Pyle on May 25, 2013 at UFC 160.[25] However, Nelson pulled out of the bout citing an injury and was replaced by Rick Story.[26]

A year later Nelson returned to the UFC and faced Omari Akhmedov on March 8, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 37.[27] Nelson won the fight via submission in the first round. The win also earned Nelson his first Performance of the Night bonus award.[28]

Nelson was expected to face Ryan LaFlare on July 19, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 46.[29] LaFlare suffered an injury and was replaced by Zak Cummings.[30] Nelson won the fight via second round rear-naked choke. The victory secured Nelson his second Performance of the Night bonus award.[31]

Nelson next faced Rick Story on October 4, 2014 in the main event at UFC Fight Night 53.[32] Nelson lost the fight via split decision.[33]

Nelson was expected to face John Hathaway on July 11, 2015 at UFC 189.[34] However, Hathaway pulled out of the bout on June 23 citing injury, and was replaced by Brandon Thatch.[35] Nelson won the fight by submission due to a rear naked choke in round one after dropping Thatch with a left-right hand combo.[36]

Nelson was briefly linked to a fight with Demian Maia on October 24, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 76, but the bout did not materialize for that event as Maia was sidelined with a staph infection on his left leg.[37] The bout eventually took place on December 12, 2015 at UFC 194.[38] Nelson lost the one-sided fight via unanimous decision.[39]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Submission Grappling[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 14–2–1 Demian Maia Decision (unanimous) UFC 194 December 12, 2015 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 14–1–1 Brandon Thatch Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 189 July 11, 2015 1 2:54 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 13–1–1 Rick Story Decision (split) UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs. Story October 4, 2014 5 5:00 Stockholm, Sweden
Win 13–0–1 Zak Cummings Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Brandao July 19, 2014 2 4:48 Dublin, Ireland Performance of the Night.
Win 12–0–1 Omari Akhmedov Submission (guillotine choke) UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Manuwa March 8, 2014 1 4:36 London, England Performance of the Night.
Win 11–0–1 Jorge Santiago Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fuel TV: Barao vs. McDonald February 16, 2013 3 5:00 London, England
Win 10–0–1 DaMarques Johnson Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC on Fuel TV: Struve vs. Miocic September 29, 2012 1 3:34 Nottingham, England Catchweight (175 lbs) bout; Johnson missed weight (183 lbs).
Win 9–0–1 Alexander Butenko Submission (armbar) Cage Contender XII February 25, 2012 1 4:21 Dublin, Ireland
Win 8–0–1 Eugene Fadiora Submission (neck crank) BAMMA 4 September 25, 2010 1 3:51 Birmingham, England
Win 7–0–1 Danny Mitchell Submission (rear-naked choke) Cage Contender VI August 28, 2010 1 2:51 Manchester, England
Win 6–0–1 Sam Elsdon Submission (rear-naked choke) BAMMA 2 February 13, 2010 1 2:30 London, England
Win 5–0–1 Iran Mascarenhas KO (punch) Adrenaline 3: Evolution September 6, 2008 2 3:22 Copenhagen, Denmark
Win 4–0–1 Barry Mairs TKO (punches) Angrrr Management 14: Ready for War December 9, 2007 1 3:38 London, England
Win 3–0–1 Niek Tromp Submission (punches) Cage of Truth 1: Battle on the Bay November 24, 2007 1 1:50 Dublin, Ireland
Win 2–0–1 Adam Slawinski TKO (punches) Ultimate Fighting Revolution 10 October 6, 2007 1 2:30 Galway, Ireland
Win 1–0–1 Driss El Bakara Submission (armbar) Cage Rage Contenders: Dynamite September 29, 2007 1 3:46 Dublin, Ireland
Draw 0–0–1 John Olesen Draw (split) Adrenaline Sports tournament May 5, 2007 3 5:00 Copenhagen, Denmark


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Fight Card - UFC 189 Mendes vs. McGregor". Retrieved July 17, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Dan Shapiro (July 17, 2014). "Gunnar Nelson in the Style of Iceland". 
  3. ^ a b NomeFaixaIdadePesoColocacaoAcademia. Retrieved on 2012-02-26.
  4. ^ a b NomeFaixaIdadePesoColocacaoAcademia. Retrieved on 2012-02-26.
  5. ^ a b c NomeFaixaIdadePesoColocacaoAcademia. Retrieved on 2012-02-26.
  6. ^ a b Gunnar Nelson – Record. Retrieved on 2012-02-26.
  7. ^ UFC Fighter Rankings
  8. ^ Sherdog Prospect Watch: Gunnar Nelson[dead link]
  9. ^ Gunnar's Nelson official website
  10. ^ [1] Archived October 3, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Absolute bronze « GRACIEMAG at the ADCC. (2009-09-27). Retrieved on 2012-02-26.
  12. ^ Gunni stendur sig vel í opna flokkinum á ADCC «. (2009-09-27)
  13. ^ a b Gunnar's Nelson official website
  14. ^ Hughes, Jake. "Fightland Talks To: Gunnar Nelson and Conor McGregor's Coach". Fightland Blog. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Martin, Damon (2012-07-08). "Renzo Gracie Black Belt Gunnar Nelson signs with UFC". Retrieved 2012-07-08. 
  18. ^ "Pascal Krauss vs Gunnar Nelson added to UFC on Fuel TV 5 in Nottingham". July 9, 2012. 
  19. ^ Staff (2012-09-18). "Debuting Gunnar Nelson Now Draws DaMarques Johnson at UFC on Fuel TV 5". Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  20. ^ Staff (2012-09-28). "UFC on FUEL TV 5 weigh-in results: Miocic (239) and Struve (251) on weight (updated)". Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  21. ^ Stupp, Dann (2012-09-29). "UFC on FUEL TV 5 results: Gunnar Nelson chokes out DaMarques Johnson in first round". Retrieved 2012-09-29. 
  22. ^ "Gunnar Nelson vs. Justin Edwards added to UFC on FUEL TV 7 in London". December 13, 2012. Retrieved December 13, 2012. 
  23. ^ Staff (January 23, 2013). "Justin Edwards out, Jorge Santiago in against Gunnar Nelson at UFC on FUEL TV 7". 
  24. ^
  25. ^ John Morgan (February 28, 2013). "Gunnar Nelson meets Mike Pyle at May's UFC 160 in Las Vegas". 
  26. ^ Staff (April 10, 2013). "Rick Story replaces Gunnar Nelson, meets Mike Pyle at UFC 160". Retrieved April 10, 2013. 
  27. ^ Dann Stupp (December 10, 2013). "UFC European Tour in London adds Gunnar Nelson-Omari Akhmedov". 
  28. ^ John Morgan (2014-03-08). "UFC Fight Night 37 bonuses: Alexander Gustafsson earns dual awards". Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  29. ^ Staff (2014-04-29). "Gunnar Nelson mætir ósigruðum Bandaríkjamanni í Dyflinni". Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  30. ^ @YourMMA. "LaFlare Injured, Nelson Gets New Opponent For UFC Dublin". Retrieved 2014-05-28. 
  31. ^ Matt Erickson (2014-07-19). "UFC Fight Night 46 bonuses: McGregor, Nelson, Pendred, King win $50,000". Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  32. ^ Matt Erickson (2014-08-07). "Gunnar Nelson vs. Rick Story set for UFC Fight Night 53 main event in Stockholm". Retrieved 2014-08-07. 
  33. ^ Damon Martin (2014-10-04). "Rick Story upsets undefeated prospect Gunnar Nelson in Sweden". Retrieved 2014-10-04. 
  34. ^ Tristen Crichfield (2015-04-01). "UFC 189 Update: Gunnar Nelson-John Hathaway welterweight bout set for July 17". Retrieved 2015-04-01. 
  35. ^ Matt Erickson (2015-06-23). "Brandon Thatch meets Gunnar Nelson at UFC 189, John Howard now gets Cathal Pendred". Retrieved 2015-06-23. 
  36. ^ Brent Brookhouse (2015-07-11). "UFC 189 results: Gunnar Nelson drops, then chokes out Brandon Thatch in first". Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  37. ^ Chuck Mindenhall (2015-08-13). "Demian Maia suffers nasty staph infection on his leg, prevents him from fighting Gunnar Nelson". 
  38. ^ Staff (2015-09-04). "Yet another UFC 194 biggie: Demian Maia vs. Gunnar Nelson". Retrieved 2015-09-04. 
  39. ^ Matt Erickson (2015-12-12). "UFC 194 results: Demian Maia dominates Gunnar Nelson, calls for 170 title shot". Retrieved 2015-12-12. 
  40. ^ Gunnar Nelson MMA Stats, Pictures, News, Videos, Biography. (1988-07-28). Retrieved on 2012-02-26.
  41. ^ Gunnar Nelson – Fighter Profile at. Retrieved on 2012-02-26.

External links[edit]