UFC Copenhagen is expected to be a showcase of Northern European fighters, and the first fight announced reflects that, with Iceland’s Gunnar Nelson taking on Thiago Alves.
While Thiago Alves has a seven-year advantage over Gunnar Nelson in terms of Octagon experience, both have been staples of the welterweight division for a significant amount of time. The Brazilian Alves made his UFC debut in 2005, while Nelson has been around since 2012. Now they’ll finally cross paths in Denmark.
After starting his run with the promotion at 2-2, Thiago Alves went on a great seven-fight win streak with knockouts over Matt Hughes and Josh Koscheck to earn a title shot against Georges St-Pierre at UFC 100. His career hasn’t been the same since the loss to GSP, as he’s gone 7-8 since his title shot, including a brief attempt to fight at lightweight. “Pitbull” is 1-1 in 2019, defeating Max Griffin but falling to Laureano Staropoli most recently.
Gunnar Nelson, unlike Alves, has not fought for the title yet, but has had some spectacular performances. After winning his first four fights in the Octagon with three submissions, “Gunni” has gone 4-4 fighting top competition. His wins have been all stoppages, submitting Brandon Thatch, Albert Tumenov, Alan Jouban, and Alex Oliveira. However, when he gets a step up in competition, he has come up short. Most recently, it was top contender Leon Edwards who halted Nelson’s rise.
UFC Copenhagen will take place on September 28 from the Royal Arena in Denmark. Nelson vs. Thiago Alves is the only bout announced for the card thus far.