Gunnar Nelson will face Santiago Ponzinibbio in the main event in Scotland this July. Gunnar hasn’t seen any footage of his opponent but is happy to have a fight.
The main event was confirmed this morning as well as the co-main event between Joanne Calderwood and Cynthia Calvillo.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) May 12, 2017
Gunnar Nelson defeated Alan Jouban in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night in London in March. Gunnar came relatively unscratched from the bout so he already had his eyes on a main event slot in Scotland.
“We had already asked to be on the Scotland card. Then this fight came to us on Wednesday if I recall correctly and after that, things moved pretty quickly,” Gunnar told MMA Fréttir.
Gunnar was targeting a big fight against top guys after his last win against Alan Jouban. Ponzinibbio is, however, ranked below him and not someone who the fans had their eyes on.
“Nobody in the top 10 was available. They were either injured or already booked. I wanted to fight at this time so I had to get someone ranked below me, not that it matters greatly for me. These are all tough guys.”
After only getting one fight in 2016, Gunnar is aiming for three fights this year so a summer fight was crucial for the plan to work.
After Gunnar’s win against Jouban, there was a lot of talk of a possible bout between Gunnar and Stephen Thompson. However, Wonderboy won’t be available until September. Is it frustrating for Gunnar to not get these big fights he is hoping for?
“You could get annoyed by it but no, not really. This is what I have now and I’m happy with it, main event and this is probably going to a be a hell of a fight. So I’m happy and content. I can’t really complain, at least not compared to Demian Maia.”
Santiago Ponzinibbio is 6-2 in the UFC’s welterweight division, currently riding a four fight winning streak and ranked nr. 13. But Gunnar doesn’t know too much, if anything, about his upcoming opponent.
“I haven’t seen him fight. I haven’t really checked him out, just checked his name to memorize it. I think I got it, Ponzonino? I don’t know anything about him, John Kavanagh informed me briefly on him but nothing more then that.”
This is the third time Gunnar has been in the main event slot in the UFC. His first one was a loss to Rick Story while the second main event fight fell through after Gunnar had to pull out with an injury.
“It’s tremendous to be in the main event. I was of course supposed to be in the main event in Belfast but that didn’t go as planned. We’ll nail it this time. This is great.”
Just like for his last fight, Gunnar’s camp will start in Mjölnir in Reykjavík before heading out to SBG in Dublin where he´ll finish his camp.
“I’ll start here at home to begin with but will probably finish my camp in Dublin and head to Scotland from there. Something like that, similar to my last camp. That’s pretty comfortable, a short trip from Dublin.”