The UFC’s most promising (and most eerily emotionless) welterweight prospect has just experienced an important rite of passage — his first injury withdrawal. As confirmed by UFC officials, Icelandic grappling phenom Gunnar Nelson will be unable to meet Mike Pyle at UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 2, scheduled for May 25th in Las Vegas. According to Gunnar’s father/manager Haraldur Nelson, it’s a knee injury that will require surgery. A timetable for his return hasn’t been announced.
Injuries have actually plagued both of Nelson’s previous UFC fights. His first win in the Octagon came against DaMarques Johnson, who was replacing the injured Pascal Krauss. Nelson’s second win came against Jorge Santiago, who was replacing the injured Justin Edwards. And now, the UFC Injury Demon has gone from teasing Nelson to actually taking a chunk out of his ass, so to speak.
Replacing Nelson against Pyle at UFC 160 will be Rick Story, who most recently TKO’d Strikeforce/KOTC standout Quinn Mulhern at UFC 158 last month. Pyle is coming off a superb 2012 during which he scored first-round KO/TKOs of Ricardo Funch, Josh Neer, and James Head. Pyle vs. Story is expected to be on the FX portion of the 5/25 card.