Gunnar Nelson used his superior grappling to take Takashi Sato’s back repeatedly tonight at UFC Fight Night 204 on his way to a unanimous decision victory.
Inside leg kick from Sato. Now a kick landing to the upper body. Head kick attempt from Nelson now.
Right hand from Nelson. Low kick for Sato. One from Nelson now. Body punch for Nelson. He lands a body kick too now.
Right hand for Nelson and tries to clinch up, but Sato gets away. Again Nelson tries to clinch up without success.
Nelson with a light body kick. Another failed clinch attempt as he tries to get into a position to work on bringing the fight to the mat.
Now Nelson goes in for his first proper takedown attempt, swooping for the legs of Sato. He doesn’t get it straight away but keeps working and brings Sato down in the center of the Octagon.
Nelson on his back and locks in the body triangle. A few elbows and Punches to the head from Nelson to soften up Sato.
Sato doing his best to protect his neck here to prevent a sneaky submission attempt late in the round as Nelson remains content to chip away with punches.
Sato takes the center of the Octagon. Right hook from Nelson grazes the target. Nelson continually throwing out a long right hand as he tries to grab his opponents neck to clinch and work takedown attempts, but not paying off so far in the fight.
Nice straight lands for Nelson. Now a right hook lands. Nelson ducks down and drives into a takedown attempt, landing it nicely.
Nelson in side control. Sato scrambles to his knees parallel to the cage, but Nelson is still on him and is able to work to his back and locks in the body triangle again.
Nelson trying to get his arm under Sato’s chin, but not quite getting it so he starts to land a few punches. Sato fends off another attempt from Nelson to get the arm under the chin and he lands more light strikes instead to end the round.
Punch from Sato. Nelson steps into a straight right. They clinch up in the center of the Octagon. Nelson trying to land a knee. Sato pushes him away.
Grazing right hand from Nelson. Left hand from Sato. Very nice takedown from Nelson in the center of the Octagon and is going straight for the rear-naked choke as Sato is on his knees.
Nelson opts to go back to the same position as in the previous two rounds, rolling to his back with the body triangle locked in and starts to chip away at Sato’s head.
Nelson landing more slapping punches from this advantageous position on the mat as the ref is curiously urging him to work or he’ll stand them up.
Nelson trying for the choke now in the final minute of the fight. Potential neck crank here, but nothing doing and he’s back to chipping away with punches.
Nelson again sinking in the rear-naked choke, but Sato fights his hands off. Final 10 seconds and Sato is able to survive until the final horn.
No doubt about the winner here with Nelson’s long spells of control on the mat not leading to a submission, but ensuring he secures a unanimous decision victory on the scorecards (30-26 x3).