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Tag: Gunnar Nelson

Injury Knocks Gunnar Nelson Out of UFC 160; Rick Story to Replace Against Mike Pyle

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.

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Barnburner Alert: Mike Pyle Booked Against Gunnar Nelson at Stacked UFC 160 Card


(“Gunnar, talk us through the end of the fight…………………………………………Gunnar Nelson everybody!” Photo via MMAViking.) 

Cross your fingers and pray for an injury free couple of months, Potato Nation, because UFC 160 is currently stacked with more firepower than Burt Gummer’s basement. Velasquez vs. Silva, Dos Santos vs. Overeem, Teixiera vs. Bader, the list goes on and on. And if a main card that also features the likes of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Stephen Thompson, and Abel Trujillo somehow doesn’t do it for you, rounding out the preliminary card —which is whatever the antithesis of garbage-ass is — will now be a matchup of streaking welterweight contenders when Mike Pyle faces Gunnar Nelson.

In the past year, Mike Pyle has put together a three fight (T)KO streak over the likes of Josh Neer and most recently James Head. A veteran of the UFC since 2009, Pyle will be looking to improve to 7-1 in his past 8 with a win over the undefeated Nelson, who showcased a rather versatile stand up game in his recent victory over Jorge Santiago at UFC on FUEL 7.

As it stands, UFC 160 is a card that we will gladly chase around 3 channels, Facebook, and a couple illegal stream sites to watch. Disagree? Then check out the full lineup after the jump and become a believer.

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UFC on FUEL 7: Barao vs. McDonald — Main Card Results & Commentary


(It’s kind of offensive that the UFC promos keep referring to Barao as a “monster.” He’s a human being, okay? An aggressive, scary human being whose mother just happens to be half-cthulhu / Photo via MMAJunkie.)

Today at the Wembley Arena in London, UFC interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao and 22-year-old phenom Michael McDonald will do battle to determine who’s truly the greatest 135-pound fighter in the world, at least until Dominick Cruz finally heals up and puts an end to this ridiculous charade. Alright, so an interim title might not mean much in the grand scheme of things, but it’s still a damn good fight, and the rest of the card features a crowd-pleasing assortment of slugfests and future stars.

Leading us through today’s UFC on FUEL 7 liveblog is Alex Giardini, who will be laying down round-by-round results from the main card broadcast after the jump beginning at 3 p.m. ET. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please share your own thoughts in the comments section.

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Four Reasons to Be Completely Psyched About UFC on FUEL 7: Barao vs. McDonald


(Fan-made poster via NixsonMmaPosters. Let’s just pretend that Siver isn’t there.)

We wouldn’t expect a FUEL card in London to be “stacked” in the traditional sense. But although this coming Saturday’s UFC on FUEL 7: Barao vs. McDonald event is low on star-power, it’s actually loaded with great matchups. Here’s why these fights are worth paying attention to…

1. The main card is a hot mess of blue-chip prospects.
Even more so than UFC on FUEL 7′s headliners, I’m excited to see the return of three guys who looked like juggernauts in their UFC debuts. First, we’ve got our old pal Ryan Jimmo, who entered the Octagon on a 16-fight win streak at UFC 149 and proceeded to sleep Anthony Perosh in just seven seconds, then gave fans their money’s worth by busting out a celebratory robot. Can he possibly repeat that performance this weekend against James Te-Huna?

Also in the light-heavyweight division, 12-0 Nigerian-English mauler Jimi Manuwa — who has never been to the third round in his entire career, by the way — will face Cyrille Diabaté, five months after Manuwa whipped Kyle Kingsbury to a doctor’s stoppage TKO after ten minutes of action. And finally, Icelandic grappling master Gunnar Nelson will follow up his swift choke-out of Damarques Johnson with a fight against Jorge Santiago, in a welterweight bout that will probably go very badly for Santiago.

The prelims also feature a few more guys who almost fit in the same “hot-prospect” category, including Stanislav Nedkov — who’s still technically undefeated after his loss to Thiago Silva was overturned in November — and Paul Sass, the submission wiz who took the first loss of his career against Matt Wiman in September.

2. Michael McDonald could become the youngest UFC champion ever* — and by a fairly wide margin.

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Jorge Santiago Returns to the Octagon Against Gunnar Nelson at ‘UFC on FUEL 7′ in London


(Jorge and Bigfoot: They run Bartertown. / Photo via Sherdog)

Arguably the most talented fighter to be included in our 50 Worst Fighters in UFC History list, Jorge Santiago‘s undeniable abilities as a knockout artist and BJJ practitioner have mysteriously failed him inside the Octagon. The former Sengoku champion and Strikeforce Middleweight Grand Prix winner has already burned through two stints with the UFC, which both ended in back-to-back losses. But thanks to an injury withdrawal on the UFC on FUEL 7: Barao vs. McDonald card, Santiago is getting a third chance to prove himself.

The UFC has confirmed that TUF 13 castmember Justin Edwards has pulled out of his February 16th welterweight match against undefeated Icelandic phenom Gunnar Nelson due to an undisclosed injury, and will be replaced by Santiago. On paper, this is a much better matchup than the original one — Nelson vs. Edwards felt like somewhat of a mismatch, while Santiago is certainly on Nelson’s level in terms of talent, and has far more fight experience. Then again, Santiago has been straight-up cursed inside the UFC. The most we can say is that it’ll be a much better gauge of how good Gunnar really is, and if he deserves the hype that has followed him into the UFC.

Santiago won two fights last year under the Titan FC banner, both by first round stoppage, and he currently trains with the Blackzilians. For a complete lineup of the UFC on FUEL 7 card, follow us after the jump…

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Barnburner Alert: Ryan Jimmo vs. James Te Huna Booked for UFC on FUEL 7 in February


(Eat your heart out, Benson.) 

On the heels of the most successful UFC debut since Todd Duffee, former CagePotato guest blogger and master of the post-fight celebration, Ryan Jimmo, has just been booked for his second bout in the octagon against New Zealand slugger James Te Huna at UFC on FUEL 7. Let’s hope Jimmo’s sophomore appearance goes a little better than The Duffman’s, because Te Huna packs a hell of a lot more power than Mike Russow does. In fact, three out of Te Huna’s four UFC victories have come by some form of brutal (T)KO, with the lone exception being his record-setting performance against Joey Beltran, who has a chin made of the kind of granite that only Lavar Johnson‘s Hulk hands have been able to break.

Currently riding a 17 fight win streak that includes victories over such UFC veterans as Wilson Gouveia, Marvin Eastman, and Sokoudjou among others, Jimmo is undoubtedly one of the hotter prospects to enter the UFC’s light heavyweight division, but he will have his hands full with Te Huna, who has rapidly been developing his ground game to balance out his striking prowess. Who do you like for this one, Taters?

Also on tap for UFC on FUEL 7 is a welterweight battle featuring your favorite Icelandic cyborg, Gunnar Nelson

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Damned If You Don’t: Rich Attonito Fired by UFC for Backing Out of Gunnar Nelson Fight


(He beat the crap out of Jamie Yager, so he’ll always be a legend in our book. Photo props: Justin M. Bowen/ Las Vegas Sun)

When UFC matchmaker Joe Silva calls you to fight on short notice as an injury replacement, sometimes it’s better to not even answer the phone. That’s the lesson we’ve learned from a contradictory pair of recent firings that seem to define the phrase “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”

As confirmed by MMAFighting.com, welterweight contender (and former CagePotato guest-blogger) Rich Attonito has been released by the UFC. Attonito had an official record of 3-2 within the Octagon, and last competed at UFC 140 in December 2011, where he was TKO’d by Jake Hecht. Here’s the sequence of events that led to Rich’s firing, from the MMAFighting report:

When [Pascal] Krauss pulled out of UFC on FUEL TV 5, [Joe] Silva offered Rich Attonito the fight against [Gunnar] Nelson via Attonito’s manager Dan Lambert. Lambert spoke to the American Top Team fighter, who agreed to take the welterweight bout. The next day, Lambert called Silva to tell him Attonito said he would not be able to make the 170-pound weight limit on short notice. Silva then offered him the opportunity to take the fight at a 175-pound catch weight, which both Attonito and Nelson, through his manager and father Haraldur Nelson, agreed to. The next day, Lambert called Silva back again to inform him that Attonito would not be able to make the 175-pound catch weight either. As a result, Silva decided to release Attonito from his contract.

Here’s the deal: When the UFC offers you an opportunity to come in as a replacement fighter, you generally don’t get a day or two to think about it. Attonito’s crime was speaking too soon — agreeing to a fight before he realized that making weight would be impossible. But at the time the fight was offered to him, saying “no” to Joe Silva probably seemed like the bigger sin.

Anyway, Attonito changed his mind and got fired for it. And you probably remember what happened next…

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Five Reasons to Be Sort-Of Interested in ‘UFC on FUEL 5: Struve vs. Miocic’


(Reason #6: Impromptu limbo competitions!) 

The UFC will be making it’s return to jolly old England this weekend and go figure, the card is of the mid to low interest range and will be broadcast for free here in the States (unless you don’t have FUEL, of course. What’s that? NO ONE has Fuel?!). Not that we’re complaining about a night of free fights, but the buzz surrounding this event could best be described as tumbleweeds. Fortunately for you, there are at least five good reasons to tune in Saturday afternoon, which we’ve laid out in a convenient list format with bold titles and everything. Aren’t we just the best?

1. A Main Event That Definitely Ain’t Going the Distance 

As BG explained earlier, a fight with Stefan Struve ends in one of three ways; Struve via submission, Struve via (T)KO, or Struve’s opponent via uber-violent KO. His fights are like the Paranormal Activity movies; you know from the start how badly things will end for the parties involved, but it’s the path to that ending that you’re interested in. The same can be said for the undefeated Stipe Miocic, minus the uber-violent losses of course. Miocic has been on an absolute tear since entering the UFC and has finished 2 of his 3 opponents in brutal fashion. In fact, in a combined 38 fights, the two main event players have only seen the judges scorecards twice. And Saturday night will be no different; Struve will either take this fight to the ground and try to pull off a sub or throw caution to the wind and get savaged. In either case, it will make for one incredibly entertaining fight.

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It’s Official: Gunnar Nelson to Face Pascal Krauss in UFC Debut


Look at how clean shaven you are in this pic. I thought we were going to grow matching goatees, homie.

After years of wild speculation, it looks like the rumors are finally true. The UFC has announced that the organization has signed twenty-three year old Icelandic grappling phenom Gunnar Nelson. Nelson, who is 9-0-1 in MMA competition, has earned all victories by stoppage – eight of which came in the first round. Aside from a draw against John Olesen in his MMA debut, his only fight that made it to the second round was a second round knockout against Iran Mascarenhas back in 2008.

Although we’ve recently seen signings fall through before the fighter has made his UFC debut, it’s being reported that the Renzo Gracie black belt will face the Pascal Krauss, a twenty-five year old German with a decorated boxing background, at UFC on Fuel TV 5 on September 29. “Panzer” made his UFC debut at UFC 122 back in 2010, taking a unanimous decision over Mark Scanlon. However, Krauss would then sit out for seventeen months rehabilitating an injury. He lost his return bout against John Hathaway at UFC on Fox 3 back in May.

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Rumor of the Day: Gunnar Nelson Headed to the UFC


(Nelson becomes the first man ever to successfully narfle the Garthok at the 2009 ADCC Absolute trials.) 

Crank up the Bjork and start cubing up the Hakarl, because it appears that Icelandic BJJ phenom and undefeated prospect Gunnar Nelson is headed to the UFC.

The 23 year-old welterweight is undoubtedly one of the hottest prospects outside of the UFC, collecting a perfect 9-0-1 record with just one of those wins making it outside of the first round. Nelson has not been to the scorecards since his debut fight — a draw against John Oleson — and has collected six of his nine stoppage wins by way of submission. FightersOnly were the first to break the news, stating that several close sources had already confirmed this report, though an official announcement from inside Nelson’s camp has yet to be made. There have been several rumors claiming that Nelson was headed to the UFC over the past few years, but this time it seems to be happening for serial.

After acquiring his BJJ black belt in just four years, Nelson first burst onto the MMA scene back in 2007, and gained incredible notoriety in 2009 when he defeated the much larger, multiple-time ADCC medalist and UFC veteran Jeff Monson in the first round of the 2009 ADCC Absolute trials. Nelson most recently scored a first round submission via armbar over Alexander Butenko back in February, his fourth straight to come by way of first round submission.

We know some of you Taters have been clamoring about Nelson for what feels like ages now, so it’s good to know that we might finally be able to see just what this kid is capable of in the near future. As will be the case with Hector Lombard and our buddy Ryan Jimmo, 2012 is looking like it could be a make or break year for prospects outside the UFC.

Lucky for you, CagePotato and Youtube have combined their powers to compile an extensive look at Nelson’s background, which awaits you below.

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