In a late addition to UFC London, Gunnar Nelson will be facing Alan Jouban, it was announced today.
And, while a contest on a few weeks notice might have plenty of fighters feeling unprepared and nervous, the typically nonchalant Nelson doesn’t mind. Even if he’s yet to sort out where exactly he’s going to train for the whole thing. Known for his training taking place at either at his home in Iceland or at the renowned SBG in Dublin, Ireland. For this fight, Nelson is still yet to organise it all.
“I’ve fought in England a few times before and always enjoyed it. It’s fun to fight in front of the English and I used to train there all the time,” Gunnar said, speaking with Icelandic media outlet MMA Fréttir. “I don’t know where my camp will be for this fight, that will get sorted this week. I love it when I can get a few good guys to come to Iceland to train, that is what I usually prefer so I can stay close to my son. But it’s also good to just get away [to Ireland] and focus on preparing. We’ll see, both has it’s pros and cons.”
The bout provides a much needed name boost to a previously criticised card, set to be headlined by light heavyweights Jimi Manuwa vs. Corey Anderson. Nelson has been out of action since suffering an injury back in October, which unfortunately led to the cancellation of a bout with Dong Hyun Kim at UFC Belfast. While Jouban may be lower down in the rankings than Nelson, he is still something of a well known fighter, and still offers Nelson an opportunity to get back in the cage with a high profile win.
“I’m happy to get this fight. We were trying to get someone ranked to be honest and that might have made more sense for me. However, I haven’t fought for almost a year and although I wanted to get someone ranked, no one was available right now. There were about five fighters who we were trying to get but all of them were injured. It’s unbelievable how many guys are injured.
“Besides, it’s on relatively short notice but we have been trying to get booked on this London card for a while now. But Jouban is a really good fighter, I’m not looking past him or anything like that. He’s on a three fight winning streak I believe and is a well rounded fighter.
“I was prepared to fight despite not getting the perfect dream opponent. That’s not usually my thing to think too much about the opponent. I of course want to challenge myself and climb up the rankings, but the way I see it, everyone in or around the top 15 is dangerous. You are always challenging yourself and everyone has different styles and you learn something from fighting every one of them.”
And of course, Jouban’s second career as a model often raises an eyebrow or two. Luckily for him, however, Nelson doesn’t want to jeopardizing his alternative way of earning a living.
“It’s too bad he has such a pretty face, I’ll probably feel guilty by punching him in the face. I need to think how I’ll approach this,” he said.