Leon Edwards showcased his grappling skills by taking a decision victory over Gunnar Nelson at UFC London.
Leon Edwards has quietly been one of the most successful fighters in the welterweight division. He’s won six straight fights, last losing to champion Kamaru Usman in 2015. He last appeared in the main event of UFC Singapore where he defeated Donald Cerrone.
Gunnar Nelson made a triumphant return to the UFC Octagon with a brutal submission victory over Alex Oliveira in December. Prior to that, he suffered a tough first-round knockout loss to Santiago Ponzinibbio. Overall, he is 8-2 in the UFC with seven submission wins.
Gunnar Nelson started the fight with a clinch and a second-effort takedown on Leon Edwards. Edwards was able to get up from guard, clinch up with Nelson, and take him down. Edwards had the back of Nelson, but only one hook in. The Brit established a half-nelson, and controlled his opponent from his back. Nelson began to stand-up but Edwards lifted him up and slammed him down. This gave Nelson enough of a window to stand up, and Edwards landed a kick to the body to end the round.
The second round started cautiously, with jabs exchanged between both fighters until a clinch 90 seconds in. Edwards landed an elbow over the top on the exit. Nelson pushed Edwards against the fence, Edwards reversed position, then landed a left hand upon their separation. Nelson clinched up again behind a right-hand. Edwards answered with knees to the body that caused Nelson to separate. Nelson clinched up with him again, then Edwards landed several punches and knees. Nelson came in again, but went into Edwards’ shoulder. Edwards held his head in place then knocked him down and landed huge ground-and-pound to end the round.
— UFC (@ufc) March 16, 2019
Nelson started the final round with a strong takedown effort, but Edwards was able to stay on his feet. As soon as Nelson changed his clinch from a takedown attempt to a Muay Thai hold, Edwards broke free. Again Nelson clinched up with Edwards against the cage. Edwards reversed position and had a back clinch briefly. The fighters separated, then Nelson hit Edwards with a hard right hand then took him down into mount. Edwards held on for dear life and it worked, reaching the final bell.
Leon Edwards def. Gunnar Nelson by Split Decision (29-27, 29-28, 28-29)