Welterweight Gunnar Nelson got back on track in a big way when he bloodied the iron-willed Alex Oliveira on the main card of last night’s (Sat., December 8, 2018) UFC 231 from Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 

It was a needed win for the Icelandic contender. ‘Gunni’ had been out of action since 2017. Oliveira, on the other hand, had been active as one of the more active fighters at welterweight. The Brazilian had fought three times in each of the last two years.

Nelson showed no effects of the long layoff in Toronto, however. He used his vaunted grappling game to secure takedowns and work from ‘Cowboy’s’ guard. Once there, Nelson opened up the fan-favorite with some brutalizing elbows that lead to a submission win. Oliveira was his usual happy-go-lucky self after the fight, smiling and posing for pictures with fans after the event. 

And that was before he received 29 stitches in his head for the strikes. Oliveira’s head coach Andre Tadeu sent MMA Fighting a photo of Oliveira smiling while receiving the stitches: