Gunnar Nelson isn’t taking anything away from what Santiago Ponzinibbio did to him at UFC Fight Night 113 Sunday.
But, Nelson does have an excuse.
During the post-fight press conference, Nelson explained that an eye poke that went uncalled helped Ponzinibbio finish him in the first round.
“I don’t like to make excuses, but this is the truth, how I feel anyway, is I should have stopped the fight when I got poked,” Nelson said (thanks to MMA Fighting for the quotes). “I should have stopped it then because I’m seeing two Ponzinibbios in front of me. And that was like that until I remember standing up and the fight was over.
“I should have stopped it then and I’m not saying, like, he did a good job and maybe it would have happened anyway. Maybe my reflexes just wouldn’t have been enough to move away from the punch, but this is how I felt, like, I’m kind of kicking myself in the head for not just stopping the fight and being greedy, because I caught him and I thought he was on the run.”
The loss was a tough one for Nelson to take, as the welterweight is 3-3 over his last six fights. For Ponzinibbio, he is now on a five-fight win streak.