Gunnar Nelson submits DaMarques Johnson in the first round at UFC on Fuel TV 5. - Martin McNeil for SB Nation
After making an impressive UFC debut last September by submitting DaMarques Johnson in the very first round, Gunnar Nelson says he always aims for a decisive finish victory early and often, and will continue to do so moving forward. Watch out, Justin Edwards.
If you didn't know undefeated (10-0-1) Gunnar Nelson before his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut last September, you, as well as the rest of the promotion's welterweight division, definitely took notice of the Icelandic grappler, after.
Gunnar blitzed through DaMarques Johnson at UFC on FUEL TV 5: "Struve vs. Miocic" in Nottingham, England, submitting him in the very first round in what was a catchweight bout of 183 pounds due to "Darkness" coming in overweight.
The victory marked Nelson's fifth straight first-round submission win and his ninth first-round finish overall -- with the other coming in the second stanza. So, if you do the math, all of his victories have come swiftly and decisively.
Eat your heart out, Ronda Rousey.
That's quite an impressive resume for the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) veteran who's spent the majority of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career competing overseas. Now that he's made it to the big show, he has no plans on letting up and will continue to aim for the finish as early as possible.
It is, after all, part of his "self-defense" strategy.
"Gunni" explains to UFC.com:
"I do push for finishes. My thoughts toward this sport have always been the same: self-defense is number one. People ask me, ‘If it is about self-defense then why do you have to finish your opponents so early?' That is self-defense. The more time I spend in there with him, the more time I'm giving him to figure me out and beat me. That's always been my strategy. I've always been, I don't want to say 'aggressive,' but when you're in there and it is 'go time,' you don't want to give anything up. In training, you give so much up because you're playing. But in there, you push the fight more because you don't want to leave it to the judges and you don't want to spend more time in there than you need."
And the mission still remains the same, finish the fight:
"I know the fans like an exciting fight and I do believe I will always try to put that on naturally. I do believe the best way for me to fight is an exciting fight because I will push for the finish and I'm constantly working on the ways to finish fights, to be safe in that way. Not to be safe by pushing your opponent away from you, but safe to end the situation. They should expect me trying to end the situation."
With the UFC's welterweight division becoming suddenly overcrowded with talent and potential title contenders, Gunnar, little by little, will be forcing his way into the mix should he continue his winning ways, sooner rather than later
Especially if he continues to roll through his foes with seemingless effort.