Gunnar Nelson will take on Santiago Ponzinibbio tomorrow at UFC Fight Night 113, and the Icelandic fighter’s reporting he’s had his best training camp to date.
Nelson arrived in the UFC nearly five years ago, and when he did, he had a ton of hype behind him. At the time, the welterweight was undefeated in pro-MMA action, and Nelson was also regarded as one of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners on the planet.
The rising fighter started out his UFC run in impressive fashion, by winning four straight bouts. But then, the 28 year-old dropped two of three bouts to Demian Maia and Rick Story, before rebounding more recently with pivotal submission wins over Albert Tumenov and Alan Jouban.
Leading up to UFC FN 113, Nelson spoke with UFC.com, and while discussing his recent, impressive outings, the Karate black belt said this:
“These last two camps have been really good,” said Nelson. “We’ve taken in a conditioning program that helps a lot and they’ve been better planned, better organized camps and I think we’ve got it down really well now. I’m very happy with this camp as well; I feel like this has been the best one yet.
“There are always personal issues, there’s always something, but it’s more just living and learning,”
“You learn from your fights, you learn from your previous camps – you learn from it all- and then you just try to become more complete and adapt your camp to get rid of whatever flaws were present in the previous training sessions or make things that are good even better.”
Following his losses to Story and Maia, it seemed like some folks wrote Nelson off, in terms of being a championship contender. But, that definitely seems premature. If Nelson can score a big win over Ponzinibbio on Sunday, a bout with a top five ranked, 170’er could come next. If Nelson wins that, then he’ll be sitting in the title shot mix.
UFC FN 113 will go down at the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Scotland.