Gunnar Nelson Explains Why It’s Getting Harder For Grapplers In The UFC

Gunnar Nelson Explains Why It’s Getting Harder For Grapplers In The UFC



Gunnar Nelson is not thrilled with the UFC. Along with the majority of bjj loving audience the title shot surpassing Demian Maia doesn’t sit well with him.

Nelson is another Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt in the UFC but non the less he was defeated by Maia at UFC 194 this past December.

Nelson was in Dublin several days ago to promote his UFC Belfast match against Dong Hyun Kim and offered some insights into why he feels Maia was unjustly skipped over and why grapplers are struggling in the UFC.

On how the general public decides who gets fights:

 “I definitely think so. I think we all know that. People want to see big bombs, people getting knocked out, people swinging — that seems to be what most people want to see,” said Nelson to an Irish website called the 42.



It was a good win but Albert had his moments too! #ufc @perhaljestamphoto

A photo posted by Gunnar Nelson (@gunninelson) on

Sadly he believes the spectators are deciding based on their lack of knowledge:

 “There’s less people who appreciate great groundwork. I think it’s just harder to understand. It’s easier to understand when you swing a fucking fist at somebody’s face. The groundwork, it’s hard to see what’s going on. If you don’t know it they’re just kind of there hugging, but for those who know and appreciate good groundwork, it’s pure art.
A lot of times when I’m watching MMA fights and I see great transitions on the ground, that’s the highlight of the fight for me, like a big bomb will be for most. I appreciate big bombs as well, sure. But yeah, definitely, it’s harder to climb [the rankings] when you’re a grappler. And it’s understandable.”


And on how he defines himself Nelson explains:

“I haven’t spent that much time on the feet — not recently anyway — so maybe people have to see some more to realise. But I know myself and I never see myself as a grappler or a striker, even though I might have finished most of my fights on the ground,” said Nelson.
“But striking definitely is a huge part of me and it always has been. It was the first thing I ever did — karate — before I did grappling. A lot of times I feel like a striker as well when I’m in a certain mood.”