Last weekend Gunnar Nelson was victorious over Alan Jouban after a second round submission in London.
This is the second part of my fight week blog regarding Gunnar’s fight against Alan Jouban. The first part can be seen here.
This was Gunni’s first fight since May 2016 and therefore his first time weighing in early. Those early weigh-ins haven’t been an instant hit, fighters missing weight more often then before, but Gunnar is a fan of it. Gunnar was dehydrated for a very short amount of time and said this was his best weight cut ever.
The night before wasn’t the ideal night for the fighters. Around 11 pm, the fire alarm went off at the Hilton fighter hotel. There really was no panic in guests when they were leaving the hotel. Gunnar was his normal chilled self and was in his phone walking down the stairwell, not knowing there was a line forming behind him because of his super slow exit.
I had a small apartment over the weekend close to the hotel and offered the team to wait there instead of waiting outside in the cold. Over a dozen of Icelanders were cramped in the apartment, waiting.
The atmosphere was great among the group, I tried to be good host and offered the only beer I had and some chocolate. I had some honey waffles, which were mysteriously gone after Gunni asked me if they were any good. He could maybe pay me back, not like he is short of cash after getting a 50 K bonus.
Before the fight his camp told me he intended to do a shorter warm-up and wear smaller gloves then usual. Gunnar has always used large sized gloves in the UFC but wanted to get medium sized instead. In the dressing room before the fight he decided to get small gloves after seeing Makwan Amirkhani’s gloves.
The gloves were stretched and soften as much as possible by his corner men. One of his corner men had a burning mark on his hand after combatting the gloves. I have no idea what on earth they were doing to the poor gloves but they fitted on Gunni’s hands. And it’s not like Gunni has tiny Donald Trump hands.
With smaller gloves it’s easier to go under the chin and therefore easier to get the choke. It did not really matter against Alan Jouban since he was already pretty dazed when Gunni went for the choke and would probably have gotten the choke with Brock Lesnar sized gloves.
Just had a great conversation with this man at the bar and I enjoyed the talk of strategies and respect amongst us. Fight game is a harsh game of win or lose. But respect at the end is an element overlooked sometimes. I will be back I promise that! In the mean time you enjoy the moments of growth. Cheers from LONDON to everyone. ????@ufc
After the fight there was the usual unofficial after party at the hotel bar. I saw Gunni and Jouban talk at the bar and wished I could just squeeze myself in there, be a fly on the bar and just listen to what they were saying only a few hours after they fought. But I didn’t want to interrupt and be that guy.
The day after Gunni told me what went on between them in a short interview. They talked about strategies and what Jouban had planned to do against Gunni. It was an interesting talk for Gunni, an honest conversation about how they experienced the same fight from different points of view.
The win was impressive and exactly what Gunnar needed to do to after 10 months away. Now a big fight is looming over and hopefully we won’t have to wait for too long for his next fight.
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