“Ridiculous” Tree Chopping Charge hasn’t Hindered Gunni’s Camp


Gunnar Nelson will look to bounce back from his one-sided loss to Demian Maia at UFC 194 when he takes on Russian knockout artist Albert ‘Einstein’ Tumenov on Sunday night in Rotterdam.

A lot of fans were shocked to see the European grappling ace out transitioned by the Brazilian legend back in December. As ‘Gunni’ sees it, he “didn’t show up” for the welterweight bout.

“I feel like I didn’t show up for that fight,” he explained after arriving in Holland. “That’s something I’m going to have to figure out for myself. You’ve got to be present during the fight and that’s something that I have to learn from and take on board for the future.”

That being said, the Icelandic submission specialist has no concern about hitting the deck with Tumenov when they clash on Sunday, given the 24-year-old’s boxing and karate foundations.

“I’m very confident going into this fight. My plan going in there is to figure him out and I really believe that this fight will hit the ground at some stage, but I want to use all of my tools in there. Getting the fight to the ground is the obvious path to victory for me, me taking him down and using my advantages there.”

Historically, Nelson has done very well against strikers. The best example of that came at UFC 189 when he rocked dangerous kickboxer Brandon Thatch with a combination that sent him to the floor. Seconds later, Gunni was forcing the tap from the American as he sunk in a rear naked choke.

Although the Mjolnir man agreed that he has had a lot of success against stand-up fighters in the past, he still believes that every fighter brings their own unique energy to every contest.

“I don’t know if I prefer fighting guys who are strikers, it’s not something I really think about all that often. It certainly seems that way, that style matchup has been really good for me. In saying that, I believe that every single fighter has their own unique style. They have their own energy, and even if they are labelled a striker or a grappler, they still bring their something different to the game.”

Famed for his powerful lead left hand, Tumenov has introduced a number of opponents to the canvas after connecting with his cultured blow. Luckily for Nelson, he trains frequently with a man who possesses one of the best left hands in the sport.

“I’m definitely used to sparring people with good left hands, but Conor is a southpaw and this guy is orthodox so it’s a little bit different. I’m very used to dealing with his kind of style too. He definitely has a really good left hand. He’s got a nice uppercut and a nice jab, and obviously, a really good hook. I’m aware of all of his strengths but I’m till confident I can crack this guy’s puzzle.”

Despite the media frenzy surrounding McGregor while he trained in Mjolnir in the lead up to the Tumenov bout, Nelson claims that the mania surrounding the Irishman didn’t affect his camp.

Another distraction came when one of Nelson’s neighbours went public with a story about the jiu-jitsu black belt cutting down a tree on his property. According to ‘Gunni’, the news came as a shock because he believed that the neighbour had already agreed to let him do it, as the trees in question are reeking havoc on Icelandic peoples’ plumbing.

“I really don’t know how serious it is, the guy is saying that he’s pressing charges, but I really don’t know if he is or what’s going on there at all. It’s just a very weird situation. I cut down three trees, two of them were in my garden and one was just about on his property.

“It was my understanding that he was ok with it happening because I was paying for it. Cutting these trees down is a standard procedure over in Iceland because they destroy pipes and plumbing. I really thought I was doing the guy a favour. All of a sudden he was on the cover of the newspaper standing beside the stump with a sad face.”

Nelson stated that the fact he is well known in his country might have played into his neighbour going public with his story:

“It might have played into him going to the papers, but I honestly don’t know. It very well could of because at one stage he said that he didn’t know who it was that cut it down or who it was that owns the house that I live in, but at the same time I’m hearing that he has pressed charges. I don’t think you can press charges against someone if you don’t know who they are. It makes no sense. I think he’s playing some weird game.”

Despite the “weird situation”, Nelson is adamant that he has not been affected by all of the drama.

“Not a single gram of fuck has been given to this situation. I mean it is ridiculous, let’s be honest. These trees are being taken down for the good of peoples’ homes because they’re such a pain in the ass for everyone in the city. I take down a few trees, I try to help out my neighbour and suddenly it’s all over the news. It’s ridiculous. If anything, I think it’s something we should all be laughing about.”

“I’m not really about all that attention, it’s not for me. I love this sport and I love martial arts, I always have. I love to compete too, but I wouldn’t be mad for all of this attention. That side of it really isn’t my cup of tea, but I do alright.”


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