Before the UFC announced Jorge Masvidal as Darren Till’s opponent for the UFC London headliner, several fighters were trying to get the slot. That includes longtime UFC welterweight Gunnar Nelson. However, after Till vs. Masvidal was booked, Nelson was then matched up against Leon Edwards. Nelson comes off a big submission win over Alex Oliveira.
He defeated the Brazilian via second-round rear-naked choke at UFC 231 in December. Nelson will step into the cage against Edwards, who has silently been tearing it up inside the Octagon. The Englishman is currently on a six-fight win streak. He hoped that would be enough to earn him the main event slot in London against Till, however, he was beat out by “Gamebred.”
Nelson spoke to Eurobash recently to discuss his upcoming fight with Edwards. He admitted that there were several other options on the table. Most notably, Nelson was going after fights with Till and Masvidal before signing on to fight Edwards, who he’s loosely affiliated with (via MMA Fighting):
“We were looking for some other names, Masvidal or Till would have been great,” Nelson said. “I think there were some other names on the table, I can’t remember exactly. I wasn’t really eyeing Leon, I knew he was going to be on the card, but I thought he had already been matched up.
“There was some discussion, I don’t know about who, but that’s what we heard. I guess that didn’t come true. For a while they were saying that I wouldn’t be on the London card. They told me that they would bring me to do the States for my next one. I was a little bit bummed because I wanted to be on the London card, but then this came up and we took it.”
“I have a lot of respect for Leon. He’s a teammate of a friend of mine, Tom Breese, I’ve trained with him a little bit. I’ve made it a bit awkward for him, but it’s all good, it’s a sport so it will be a good, fair fight.”
What do you think about Nelson saying he was looking to land another fight before getting Edwards?