The UFC’s Dana White has been trying to match Darren Till (16-0-1) with the injured #1 contender Stephen Thompson, but the American isn’t available immediately due to rehabbing his thumb. Gunnar Nelson (16-3-1) has publicly made it known that he wants to slow down the “Gorrilla” hype train by Tweeting “I’m game big boy” when the UFC announced it was coming to London on March 17, but there is still no paperwork following the on-line exchange.
Till’s dominant victory over Donald Cerrone in the UFC Gdansk headliner late last year has made the UFC looking for another star making opportunity for the fighter out of Liverpool, but for some reason long-time European favorite “Gunni” isn’t on the top of the UFC’s list.
“Till and Gunni said they wanted to fight but nothing is happening” says Gunnar’s father and manager Haraldur Nelson to MMA Viking. “Yes we were of course talking about Till.”
Nelson is coming off a controversial loss to eye-poker Santiago Ponzinibbio at UFC Fight Night 113 back in July which stopped a two fight winning streak. While the fight was full of fouls up to the finish from the Argentinian fighter, there was some who thought that a no contest could be the result after an appeal by the Nelson camp. The Icelandic fighter has shown interest in a rematch, but again this bout does not have momentum from the UFC matchmakers.
The Mjolnir fighter is ranked as the #13 contender while Till is at #7, and the showdown would be a meeting of Europe’s top two ranked welterweights. With both fighters still in their 20’s it would push one of the fighters toward a potential title eliminator matchup next. Why not set this up for March 18 at The 02, where Nelson has already co-headlined with a slew of Iceland and UK fans there to watch the grappling prodigy?
Nelson’s camp and coach John Kavanagh have made it known that Gunnar Nelson has been offered and signed the contract to face Till. They are awaiting a signature from the Liverpool fighter to put together the main event for UFC London.
So @ufc have offered @GunniNelson v @darrentill2 main event #UFCLondon we've agreed so hoping to hear confirmation soon ?how do you guys like the match up? I'm reminded of the Thatch fight, big strong striker but I think Till is tougher challenge. One way to find out… pic.twitter.com/b7U81FpzBf
— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) January 24, 2018