After being out of the cage for over two years, Gunnar Nelson’s return to the UFC is set.
The Icelander, who has battled injuries for much of the time he has been absent, will take on Brazil’s Claudio Silva at the event to take place in London’s O2 Arena on March 19, it was revealed on Monday.
The fight will be Nelson’s first since he dropped a decision to Gilbert Burns in September 2019, a fight which came several months after a split decision defeat to Leon Edwards, the likely next top contender in the UFC’s welterweight division.
In Silva, Nelson will take on a fighter who is also coming off two defeats (against James Krause and Court McGee) and who has also won the majority of his fights by submission. Interestingly, Silva is one of just a handful of fighters to hold a win against the aforementioned Edwards.
Nelson, meanwhile, will be seeking his first win in the cage since (vicious and bloody) mauling of another Brazilian, Alex Oliveira, in late 2018, a fight which Nelson won by second-round rear-naked choke submission after opening up a nasty cut on Oliveira’s forehead with a scything elbow.
Nelson vs. Silva was joined by another fight announcement today, with Arnold Allen set to take on Dan Hooker at the event which will mark the UFC’s first event in the English capital since the card headlined by Darren Till and Jorge Masvidal in March 2019.
The 2022 will be topped by a heavyweight matchup between Tom Aspinall and Alexander Volkov.