Masterful Gunnar Nelson Taps Albert Tumenov at UFC Rotterdam


In spite of possessing one of the more varied arsenals in the welterweight division, Gunnar Nelson was cast into the role of underdog against surging prospect Albert Tumenov ahead of their contest at UFC Rotterdam. Nelson, whose UFC career began at a perfect 4-0, has run into difficulty in his latter UFC career first dropping a closely contested decision to Rick Story and more recently he was smothered by Demian Maia last December. A decisive victory over Brandon Thatch last summer was sandwiched between those two bouts and it was that version of ‘Gunni’ which needed to return to the Octagon here in Rotterdam. And did it ever. Gunnar Nelson confounded the bookies’ predictions and displayed complete dominance against Albert Tumenov, finishing the fight with a rear naked choke midway through the second frame.

Opening the first round with his usual assured composure, Nelson never looked in any difficulty against his Russian foe and indeed it was the Icelander who landed the first heavy shot against Tumenov who had described himself as the best technical striker in the UFC. Nelson adopted his karate stance, lunging in and out against Tumenov who struggled to deal with the distance. While he did land a number of good power hooks to the body, the signs looked ominous for Tumenov when he was taken down and subsequently mounted by the Renzo Gracie black belt midway through the round. While he did manage to get back to his feet with 30 seconds remaining in the round, Nelson had fired a warning shot across his opponent’s bow.

He wouldn’t get off so easy in round two. Clearly not wanting any part of Nelson’s ground game, Tumenov began the second round aggressively and saw some success in striking exchanges and opened up a gash above Nelson’s left eye. Before he could seize any semblance of momentum however, he found himself on his back once again after a beautiful trip takedown. Nelson passed from half guard to side control to full mount with relative ease, even finding time to inquisitively paw at his cut to evaluate how much damage had been done to his brow.

Tumenov attempted to buck his opponent but only succeeding in giving his back and that’s a gift that Nelson was only too happy to accept. The rear naked choke was sunk in and, after trying to fight the hands, the fighter they call ‘Einstein’ conceded the victory.

Welcome to the top 15, Gunnar Nelson.

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