vs Gilbert Burns
UFC FIGHT NIGHT 160
Gunnar Nelson is coming back from his split decision loss in March 2019 against a top WW Leon Edwards, whilst Gilbert Burns had his last fight about month and a half ago against then-undefeated Russian Alexey Kunchenko, that he won thanks to his takedowns. Both of them are veterans in the UFC, having fought 12 times in the organization. With the win of this fight Gunnar could challenge somebody ranked in the top 15.
Gunnar Nelson probably has an edge in experience, since he fought 3 top WW (Maia, Ponzinibbio and aforementioned Edwards, who’s on a verge of a title shot). Although he lost against all of these guys, particularly against Maia it was an embarrassment with one round scored by 2 judges as 30-25, when he just couldn’t keep up with Maia on the ground, he still bounced back in the next fight with style. Gunni’s stand-up posture is well known, as he has a background in Karate. Wide stance, hands down, chin up, great movement, use of side kicks to the body and the lead leg. What causes a concern is Gunni’s chin. It’s not particularly durable, e. g. fight with Ponzinibbio, that Gunni lost in minute and a half. His strength is grappling (2 gold medals from Pan American Championship in MW with and without Gi).
Gilbert Burns is a very good BJJ practitioner (multiple gold medals in BJJ tournaments). He is having a pretty good stint in the UFC, having won 9 fights (6 of them finishing before the time limit) and only losing 3. He spent most of his time in the LW division and fight against Gunni will be his 3rd WW fight under the UFC. He is wild and very powerful, especially his right hand is his ticking bomb. Gilbert will have a slight height and reach disadvantage, both shorter by 1 inch than Gunni’s height and reach.
A short notice fight for Gilbert could be a factor, when it comes to grappling in later rounds. Nelson will probably try to stay outside of pocket, try to outpoint Gilbert and when Gilbert charges, Nelson will probably try to take him down. Gunnar doesn’t have many wins by KO/TKO (out of his 17 wins only 4 of them came by a KO/TKO) and there is a small chance that he would defeat Burns by KO/TKO. If Nelson wins, it will most probably be by submission or by decision. But if this fight will go to distance Gilbert also has some serious chance to win. And he has also very big chance to win by KO or TKO since he has so powerful shots. It is very probable that we’re going to see more than 1 round in this fight.