Renzo Gracie: Gunnar Nelson will clean out the welterweight division and win the title within two years

BAMMA

Does Gunnar Nelson have the tools to become a UFC champion? Renzo Gracie is more than confident he does.

When Georges St-Pierre announced he was abandoning his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight crown, it opened up the opportunity for someone else to hold the 170-pound title.

After all, "Rush" has had a firm grasp on it for the last six years.

And while Carlos Condit and Johny Hendricks get first dibs at becoming the new champion at UFC 171 on March 15, 2014 in Dallas, Texas, there's another welterweight that has future king written all over him.

Gunnar Nelson.

That's what Renzo Gracie, the man who discovered "Gunni" in 2008, told The Telegraph.

"He absolutely will win the UFC title. I have no doubt he can beat the very best in the [welterweight] division. How fast he wants to win it is up to him, but I think he can beat everyone in the division within the next two years. He has nothing to worry about on the ground or striking. People are going to know a lot about him very soon. He's a great student, a great kid and -- I promise you my friend -- he will be a great champion."

Bold statement.

The undefeated (11-0-1, 2-0 UFC) jiu-jitsu sensation made a successful Octagon debut at UFC on FUEL TV back in 2012, submitting DaMarques Johnson in the very first round. In his follow up fight, the Iceland-born fighter earned a unanimous decision over Jorge Santiago at UFC on FUEL TV 7.

Not too shabby.

He'll look to make it three in a row under the UFC banner when he takes on Omari Akhmedov at UFC Fight Night 37 on March 8, 2014 at the O2 Arena in London, England. Can Gunnar live up to Renzo's words and clean out the 170-pound division on his way to becoming champ?

In under two years?

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