Gunnar Nelson’s horrific injury sustained at the hands of Game of Thrones star comes to light following UFC 286 victory vs Bryan

The welterweight fighter Gunnar Nelson not only had a spectacular victory against Bryan Barberena in the UFC 286 event, but he also disclosed how he recovered from two horrific injuries that he experienced in the last few years.

Following a long hiatus, Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to the city of London. UFC 286’s main event saw welterweight champion Leon Edwards defend his title against Kamaru Usman in London’s O2 Arena. The British crowd in the gallery was ecstatic as British fighter Rocky came out on top.

On the same night, though, Gunnar Nelson defeated Bryan Barberena via first-round submission in the fourth minute of their welterweight bout, which was also included on the main card. Gunni’s’ overwhelming superiority allowed him to beat ‘Bam Bam,’ and as a result, he won a $50,000 bonus. 

How Gunnar Nelson suffered his injuries? 

After suffering consecutive losses in a row in 2019 the Icelandic grappler took a long break from MMA for nearly three years. Last year while giving an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, the welterweight fighter disclosed the reasons behind his injuries. 

“I had a really bad injury that took a long time to recover from, I had two rib injuries back-to-back. I don’t know if you’ve had a rib injury but it’s horrible. It takes a long time and they can be so crippling.” said Gunnar. 

The 34-year-old fighter expressed that his injuries were so terrible that it affected his shoulder, affected his breathing and almost everything. He wasn’t sure whether he will ever be able to fight in the octagon again. 

“That’s what happened. It was two injuries, one of them that I’d had a while ago, actually, just before the [Gilbert] Burns fight. I went into that fight, fought that fight, and recovered.” Gunnar added. 

The next injury Gunnar suffered was on the other side of his rib. This happened when the MMA fighter was having a wrestling session with Game Of Thrones star Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson also known as The Mountain. According to Gunni, their size differences was the reason why he could not stand a chance against Thor. 

“I haven’t spoken to him about it. I don’t think he knows but I think this is the first time I’ve spoken about it. It happened there, it was fun, I enjoyed it but I wanted to get an armbar from the bottom.” Nelson further added.

To come back after sustaining such terrible wounds demonstrates an incredible level of battling spirit on the part of the Icelandic fighter. Last year, Nelson prevailed over Takashi Sato, and this week he defeated Bryan Barberena.

Now, all he can do is hope to keep his winning run going and take his MMA career to the next level.

Khandaker Muntasir

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Khandaker Muntasir Hossain is a passionate writer and avid reader. Other than having an immense interest in astronomy and gastronomy, he has been a sports lover all his life. Currently covering mixed martial arts, wrestling and boxing of all promotions for Sportszion.


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