Two welterweights looking to climb higher up the 170-pound rankings had the perfect opportunity to do so at UFC 194. Demian Maia (22-6) and Gunnar Nelson (14-2-1) met inside the Octagon at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Maia’s brilliant grappling was the story of this contest.
Maia shot in for a takedown immediately, but Nelson wound up in top control for a very brief moment. Maia held on to a leg and “Gunni” threatened with a guillotine. Nelson once again took the Brazilian down. Maia eventually took the back of Nelson. Maia moved to full mount and started raining down strikes. Blood appeared on the nose of Nelson. Maia switched to an armbar, but Nelson broke free and the horn sounded.
Maia went for a single leg takedown, but “Gunni” reversed and was on top for a few seconds. The Brazilian once again got a hold of his opponent’s back. He began hammering away. Nelson wound up on top, but looked tired and Maia reversed to regain top control. Maia dropped some huge elbows on Nelson as the round came to a close.
Nelson looked slow standing as a result of the damage sustained in the fight. Maia took him down and avoided a choke. The Brazilian took the back of “Gunni” yet again. He held on to the position while beating up his opposition until Nelson wound up on top with no offense.
The decision was academic.
Final Result: Demian Maia def. Gunnar Nelson via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-25)