Gunnar Nelson and Gilbert Burns never did spend much time on the ground as they went head-to-head at UFC Copenhagen.
With a three-fight win streak in the UFC, Brazil’s Gilbert Burns was heading to Europe for his latest challenge. Facing Gunnar Nelson at UFC Copenhagen, the fight had the potential to be a grappling clinic. The welterweight pair faced off on the main card at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark on Saturday.
Burns made first contract, a leg kick, as the fight got underway. Nelson would later grab a leg, only for Burns to pull free. Neither man was letting their hands fly, not entirely surprising, especially early. Burns would eventually fire some single strikes, while mixing in kicks. Nelson would answer the latter, but was mostly looking for a way to take the fight down, without much success. He began working his jab, and connected with a side kick. Nelson’s leg, however, was glowing red from the impact of Burn’s own kicks. Burns punched his way into a clinch in the final minute of the round, looking for a trip. However, Nelson came out on top. He just didn’t have enough time left in the round to work much.
Burns continued attacking his opponent’s lead leg as the second round commenced. Nelson would begun using combinations to close the distance, mixing in uppercuts, then forcing a clinch. However, the fight stayed standing, and Burns would land a big right hand moments later. The pair would grapple along the fence, but nothing came of it. Back in the middle, Nelson latched on from behind with a body lock. Burns then used a hip toss to get Nelson down. Nelson scrambled free, but ate a jump knee! That was heavy, but Nelson survived. Burns then got him back down, controlling with a head lock from the front.
Burns seemed to have loosened up as the third got going. The pair traded leg kicks, but it was Nelson who was worse for the wear in that department. He certainly had less power on the feet, but was able to land a right to move in. The difference between Burns’ heavy hands, and Nelson’s set-up strikes, was apparent however. Through the first half, the third round was a close affair. Nothing much would change through the back half. In the end the pair went to the scorecards, with Burns getting the nod.
Result: Gilbert Burns def. Gunnar Nelson by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)