UFC FN 38: Gunnar Nelson Believes Path to Title Shot “Easier” in GSP’s Absence
By FCF Staff
Saturday’s UFC FN 38 will mark the return of one of MMA’s top welterweight prospects, as Gunnar Nelson will fight for the first time in over a year, when he battles Omari Akhmedov.
The undefeated Nelson (11-0-1) hasn’t fought since last February, when he worked his way to a unanimous decision win over Jorge Santiago. Although injuries have prevented him from competing since, the renowned grappler told UFC.com recently that he’s ready to go.
“The rehab went pretty well,” admits Nelson. “I was away from the gym for a while because of the injury that I had and rehab, and I had to concentrate on other things because I couldn’t train, but it hasn’t been too difficult. I have lots of things to do here with my friends and family, so it hasn’t been bad. But it’s better to be back, definitely.”
Since Nelson stepped into the Octagon last, former welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre has vacated the title and has announced he’s stepping away from the sport. According to the 25 year-old, Icelandic fighter, that could shorten the road to a title shot.
“Since Georges retired, it’s maybe fewer fights to get a title shot because there are so many guys right up there. St-Pierre was a champion for a really long time – and he was a really good champion – but now there is going to be a new champion, and there are a lot of guys right up there. Maybe it would be easier to close in on a title shot now than when Georges was here.”
UFC FN 38 will be hosted by the O2 Arena in London, England, and will feature Alexander Gustafsson taking on Jimi Manuwa.