After two consecutive performance of the night fights, Icelandic fighter Gunnar Nelson gets a chance to headline a UFC event in Stockholm, Sweden.
First Main Event
The undefeated Nelson (13-0-1 with 3 knockouts and 9 submissions) will face American welterweight Rick Story (17-9 with 4 knockouts and 4 submissions) in a five round welterweight bout that will serve as the main event of UFC Fight Night 53 on October 4th at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden which will be streamed via the UFC’s internet subscription service, Fight Pass.
The bout will mark the first time that both Nelson and Story will be fighting in a UFC main event. Nelson recently broke into the UFC’s welterweight rankings at #12, following his fourth consecutive win in the Octagon last July 19th at UFC Fight Night 46. Nelson’s second round submission of Zak Cummings was his third submission win in four UFC fights.
Nelson was looking to fight the UFC’s #2 ranked welterweight Rory MacDonald. But the Canadian protégé has been booked to fight Tarec Saffeidine on the same date as UFC FN 53 in Halifax, Canada. But he now has to deal with the unpredictable Rick Story.
Beating Big Rigg
Rick Story may be an unranked fighter right now. But Gunnar Nelson acknowledges that Story’s fought some of the best fighters in his career and owns a victory over current UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks.
Story is just 4-4 in his last eight bouts and is looking for his first back to back wins since 2011 when he defeated Johny Hendricks and Thiago Alves in succession. Story started out his UFC career with an impressive 6-1 record which included the wins over Hendricks and Alves.
Story says that the fight against Nelson will be “stylistically great” because he likes the fact that Nelson “comes at you” as an attacker.
The 26 year old Nelson is “excited about the huge opportunity” to headline a card in Sweden. He admits that one of his favorite fighters is Swedish light heavyweight Alexander Gustafsson. Nelson says that he has a connection with the “loud” Swedish fans because he is Scandinavian, and he “believes” that he has a big fan base in Sweden.
Nelson says that he will continue to work with his training partner Connor McGregor who is due to fight at UFC 178 against Dustin Poirier. Nelson adds that he will go to Las Vegas to train with McGregor and also help him prepare for his bout. He then plans conclude his training camp in Sweden.