Adopted Irishman

SBG's Nelson handed exciting match-up for UFC's debut in Liverpool

The Icelandic welterweight is set to take on Neil Magny in what will be his first outing in 10 months.

UFC Fight Night Glasgow Ramsey Cardy Gunnar Nelson with SBG coach John Kavanagh after his loss to Santiago Ponzinibbio. Ramsey Cardy

THE UFC CONFIRMED this morning that Gunnar Nelson will return to action when the organisation stages its first event in Liverpool this year.

Nelson (16-3-1) is set to take on Neil Magny (20-6) in a meeting of the fighters currently ranked thirteenth and ninth respectively in the welterweight division.

The bout will act as the co-main event at UFC Fight Night 130 at Liverpool’s Echo Arena on Sunday, 27 May. The headline fight has yet to be officially confirmed, although ESPN have reported that a clash between Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson and undefeated Liverpudlian Darren Till is close to being finalised as the main attraction.

Nelson, who’ll be competing for the eleventh time under the UFC banner, hasn’t fought since he suffered a controversial defeat to Santiago Ponzinibbio in the main event of the UFC’s visit to Glasgow last July.

The Icelandic 29-year-old was stopped by strikes after just one minute and 22 seconds, but video evidence suggested that Ponzinibbio had been guilty of multiple illegal eye-pokes which ultimately went unpunished.

Nelson, who has a sizeable Irish following having trained under John Kavanagh at Straight Blast Gym in Dublin for over a decade, has been victorious on seven occasions with the UFC.

UFC 219: Condit v Magny Jeff Bottari / Zuffa LLC Neil Magny got the better of Carlos Condit in his last outing. Jeff Bottari / Zuffa LLC / Zuffa LLC

“I’m very excited to be fighting in Liverpool,” he said. “It’s been a while since I last fought and I’m happy to have landed this fight. I’ve been working hard, and I’ve picked up lots of new things and sharpened some tools, which I’m looking forward to showing the fans in Liverpool on 27 May.”

Magny is likely to provide Nelson with one of his toughest assignments to date. In his most recent outing back in December, the 30-year-old Brooklyn native overcame former welterweight title challenger Carlos Condit via unanimous decision.

In his 18-fight UFC career, Magny has also recorded significant victories over the likes of former champion Johny Hendricks, Hector Lombard and Kelvin Gastelum.

With more still to be announced, here’s what’s now confirmed for the UFC’s card in Liverpool:

Neil Magny vs. Gunnar Nelson
Tom Breese vs. Daniel Kelly
Trevor Smith vs. Elias Theodorou
Brad Scott vs. Salim Touahri

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