Takashi Sato Steps In Against Gunnar Nelson at UFC London

Takashi Sato UFC
Takashi Sato Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

With Claudio Silva injured, it will be Japan’s Takashi Sato stepping in against Gunnar Nelson at UFC London later this month.

Cageside Press confirmed the booking following a report by ESPN earlier on Monday. MMA Fighting was first to report news of Silva’s withdrawal.

Sato (16-4), who signed a new contract with the promotion earlier this year, will enter the fight off a loss to Miguel Baeza in his last outing. Overall, the 31-year old Pancrase veteran, who trains with Sanford MMA in Florida, has posted a 2-2 record through his first four UFC fights.

Nelson (17-5-1) will be making his return to action in the fight. The Icelandic welterweight has not competed since a September 2019 loss to future title challenger Gilbert Burns. Nelson has lost three of his last four fights, with the lone win in that stretch coming against Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira.

UFC London is set to take place on Saturday, March 19, 2022 at the O2 Arena in London, England. Heavyweight Tom Aspinall will have home court advantage when he faces Russia’s Alexander Volkov in the main event — although the status of “Drago” remains up in the air due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and associated travel bans.

To date, the Fight Night event, airing on ESPN+ in the U.S., breaks down as follows:

  • Alexander Volkov vs. Tom Aspinall
  • Paddy Pimblett vs. Rodrigo Vargas
  • Arnold Allen vs. Dan Hooker
  • Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Sergei Pavlovich
  • Nikita Krylov vs. Paul Craig
  • Jai Herbert vs. Ilia Topuria
  • Muhammad Mokaev vs. Cody Durden
  • Mike Grundy vs. Makwan Amirkhani
  • Molly McCann vs. Luana Carolina
  • Jack Shore vs. Timur Valiev
  • Cory McKenna vs. Elise Reed
  • Nathaniel Wood vs. Vince Morales
  • Gunnar Nelson vs. Takashi Sato