Gunnar “Gunni” Nelson is one bad dude. The rising UFC welterweight trains with the wild and outspoken Conor McGregor, but has a way more laid back attitude. He walks into the octagon each time completely calm, almost like Fedor back in the day. He is focused, sure of himself and ready to get it on.
Gunni has racked up a 12-2 MMA record and is one of the hottest fighters in the UFC welterweight division. Standing 5’11 and weighing 169, with such a calm demeanor, he does not look the type of a fierce MMA cage fighter.
Nelson was born in northern Iceland in a small city called Akurevri, but grew up in the capital Reykjavik. A natural athlete, Gunnar played several sports including ice hockey and football as a kid. He did not start training in MMA until he was 13 years old. Nelson started out in Karate and won several tournaments in Iceland. By the time he was 16, he was considered the greatest up and coming Karate talent in Iceland.
At 17 he switched to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and grappling. He got his BJJ blue belt as a teen and continued training, with a goal of achieving his black belt. He furthered his BJJ development in New York, studying under Renzo Gracie. In 2009, after earning his black belt, Gunnar started competing in Jiu-Jitsu, winning a gold at the Pan American Games in 2009.
After a solid MMA pro debut in Ireland and throughout Europe, Gunnar signed a deal in 2012 with the UFC. Nelson has had a solid UFC career, racking up big wins against Brandon Thatch and Alan Jouban. His only recent loss the last couple years was against Damian Maia.
At only 28, the future looks bright for Gunni. He has all the tools to make a run at the welterweight division title. He also trains with one of the best all around MMA fighters on the planet, Conor McGregor. Check out this video of Gunnar’s fighting style and how relaxed he is before he tears apart his opponent.