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Dublin: 8 °C Sunday 19 May, 2019
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Gunnar Nelson is heading to Vegas for his biggest fight yet

He’s joining team-mate Conor McGregor on the UFC 194 card.

UFC194 Source: UFC

THE BAD NEWS for Irish mixed martial arts fans is that Gunnar Nelson (14-1-1) won’t be fighting next month at UFC Dublin.

However, the good news is that if you’re travelling to Las Vegas for Conor McGregor’s featherweight title unification bout against Jose Aldo on 12 December, you’ll be seeing Nelson in action there instead.

The Icelandic star, who’s a member of the SBG Ireland team, will face sixth-ranked welterweight and fellow BJJ ace Demian Maia (21-6) at UFC 194, the organisation announced today.

Nelson, who’s currently ranked 11th, headlined a Fight Night card last October in Stockholm — when he suffered the only loss of his career against Rick Story — but facing an opponent of Maia’s calibre on a pay-per-view bill represents his biggest test so far.

A former middleweight title challenger, 37-year-old Maia has been stopped just once in his entire career, going the distance with the likes of Anderson Silva, Rory MacDonald and Chris Weidman, and recording notable wins over Nate Quarry, Chael Sonnen, Dong Hyun Kim and Jon Fitch.

Nelson has a 5-1 record in the UFC and rebounded from the aforementioned loss against Rick Story by submitting Brandon Thatch in the first round of their UFC 189 bout in July.

UFC 194

Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor
Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold
Yoel Romero vs. Ronaldo Souza
Max Holloway vs. Jeremy Stephens
Gunnar Nelson vs. Demian Maia
Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson
Urijah Faber vs. Frankie Saenz
Warlley Alves vs. Colby Covington
Marcio Alexandre Jr. vs. Court McGee
John Makdessi vs. Yancy Medeiros
Kevin Lee vs. Leonardo Santos
Magomed Mustafaev vs. Joe Proctor

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Paul Dollery

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