Gunnar Nelson got back to winning ways tonight at UFC 189 in some style, flooring Brandon Thatch with a two-piece combination and then submitting him with a rear-naked choke mid-way through the first round.
Nelson in his distinctive karate stance to start. Thatch with a low leg kick. And another one as he pushes forward. Another two and Nelson counters with a punch.
Clinching now and both looking to land knees. They break apart and Nelson tries to get in on the clinch again, but Thatch pushes him away.
A big left hook and then a right hand out of nowhere from Nelson lands clean and Thatch hits the canvas hard. Nelson right on him and looks to control position on the mat. He moves to side control and this is right where he wants to be as he’s the far superior grappler.
Nelson smoothly into mount. Now he has Thatch’s back and cuffs his ears with punches. A little over two minutes to go in the round and Nelson gets his arm under Thatch’s neck and that’s a wrap, Nelson forces him to tap out with 2.54mins on the clock.
That’s exactly the kind of performance Nelson needed after a disappointing performance last time out, and it’s impressive that it all started with punches on the feet against a dangerous striker like Thatch.