Leon Edwards will meet Gunnar Nelson in the co-main event of the evening in an important welterweight bout on UFC on ESPN+ 5.
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The UK’s Edwards (16-3) has been on a tear in the 170-pound division. “Rocky” has rattled off six straight wins. He most recently defeated Donald Cerrone last June. As for Nelson (17-3-1). After a controversial loss to Santiago Ponzinibbio in July of 2017, “Gunni” bounced back with a submission victory over Alex Oliveira at UFC 231 last December.
Edwards takes the center of the Octagon as Nelson bounces in his traditional karate style. Nelson lands a hard body kick and clinches Edwards against the cage. Edwards tries to escape but Nelson slams him back down to the canvas. Nelson looks to trap Edwards’ legs but Edwards fights his way back up. The British fighter manages to trip Nelson and he looks to take Nelson’s back. However, the cage is in his way. Less than two minutes to go and it is more of a chess match at this point. Both men are fighting for wrist control, but Edwards is the one threatening. Not much action going on, but Nelson does manage to get back to his feet. The round ends with the men looking at each other.
Edwards quickly rushes to the center of the cage and throws a leg kick. Nelson throws a range finding jab. He times a leaping straight left hand but misses the mark. Edwards connects on a one-two as Nelson comes in for a takedown. Edwards lands a knee to the body of Nelson and escapes throwing an elbow. Nelson clinches and presses the British fighter against the cage. He cracks Edwards with a right hand on the break. Nelson leaps in with a right hand but Edwards uses his footwork well there. Nelson, however, lands a hard knee to the body. He lunges in with a back and and clinches Edwards again. He clips Edwards with a right hand on the break. Edwards blasts Nelson with a left elbow. Nelson drops. He pounces and drops bombs on Nelson. The fight could be stopped. Somehow Nelson
They touch gloves to start. Both men seem to have a slower pace here to start. Nelson shoots a deep takedown. Edwards has done a great job defending takedowns all night. They break and, again, Nelson looks for a punch, but Edwards was not there. Nelson drops his hands and closes the distance but Edwards quickly gains double underhooks and defends. He spins and threatens Nelson with a takedown. He lets Nelson up. Nelson lands a leaping right hand, Edwards drops. Nelson ends up in top control but he only has 40 seconds to work. He is landing some punches but he likely needs more. Edwards is holding on. The fight ends.
Leon Edwards defeats Gunnar Nelson via spl decision (28-29, 29-27, 29-28)