Fate struck Gunnar Nelson with the cruelest of blows when an injury suffered during an official UFC open workout meant that he was forced to withdraw from his headline slot against Dong Hyun Kim at UFC Belfast later this month.
However, according to his coach John Kavanagh, the ankle injury sustained by the Icelander wasn’t severe, just unfortunate. In an interview with MMAJunkie Kavanagh said that, while Nelson has not yet begun full-contact training, he is very much on the road to recovery and a second date to take on Kim, the 8th ranked welterweight fighter in the world, is very much the goal at the moment.
“He’s practically back training now”, Kavanagh said. “The timing was such that it wouldn’t have given him enough time to properly prepare for somebody as tough as his opponent. It was just a timing issue.”
“He’s practically healed up, he’s practically back training full-on, and I’m hoping the UFC will put on the same fight in early 2017,” Kavanagh said. “But we have to wait on their decision for that.”
The originally-slated main event of Nelson v Kim has now been replaced with a rematch between Gegard Mousasi and Uriah Hall. The card also features SBG Ireland’s Artem Lobov who takes on Teruto Ishihara, while Irish MMA legend Neil Seery will have his final professional bout against US fighter Ian McCall.