What is it with UFC cards on Irish soil falling apart? After numerous injury withdrawals from the UFC’s most recent visit to Dublin a year ago, it seems that the promotion’s first event in Belfast since 2007 is experiencing similar injury bugs.
It was revealed by MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani that Gunnar Nelson (15-2-1) has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled bout with Dong Hyun Kim (21-3-1-1) slated for the main event in the UFC’s return to Belfast. The nature of the injury suffered by Nelson has yet to be revealed.
The Nelson-Kim Belfast main event is off. Mousasi-Hall 2 is in the works as the new main, per sources. Story coming to @MMAFighting shortly.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 21, 2016
A middleweight rematch between Gegard Mousasi (40-6-2) and Uriah Hall (12-7) has been targeted to replace the originally scheduled main event. The first bout between the two took place in September of 2015 in Japan and was won by Hall after landed a spinning attack and following up with punches. Mousasi, it was generally agreed, was winning the fight up until that point.
The loss of Gunnar Nelson in the main event is a big blow to the card in Belfast. The SBG fighter is one of the most popular fighters on the island of Ireland and was coming into this bout on the back of arguably the best performance of his career against Albert Tumenov last May.
It remains to be seen if or when Nelson’s clash with Kim will be rescheduled.
UFC Belfast takes place on November 19th and also features bouts between Artem Lobov and Teruto Ishihara, as well as Neil Seery vs. Ian McCall.