5 Things You Might Not Know About Gunnar Nelson

By Mark Raymundo Dec 6, 2018


UFC 231 is now available on Amazon Prime.

Gunnar Nelson remains a strong welterweight contender despite recently getting stopped for the first time in his professional career. The culprit was Santiago Ponzinibbio, who is currently No. 7 in the rankings.

On Dec. 8, the Icelandic grappler will look to bounce back from that loss at the expense of Alex Oliveira, who has won two straight. Their fight will take place at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. As Nelson prepares for this tough matchup, take a look at some of the things you might not know about “Gunni.”

1. He loves cartoons.

Nelson loves watching almost anything animated. In fact, his favorite movie is “Ice Age,” which never fails to crack him up every time he sees it. Just like other kids, he dreamedt of becoming a superhero, specifically Batman. This is why he enjoys the role of being a real-life superhero to fans especially in his native of Iceland.

2. He is one-fourth American.

Nelson was born and raised in Iceland and barged into the MMA scene as the country’s best hope in the sport. He is also often seen speaking proudly of his heritage during interviews, but not many people know that he is actually part-American. His grandfather was a U.S. Marine, who for some time was based in Iceland where he met Nelson’s grandmother. It seemed his grandfather had some sort of influence on his father as Nelson said the latter was close to joining the Air Force.

3. He looks up to Fedor Emelianenko.

This doesn’t come much of a surprise, given Nelson’s calm demeanor. The Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight admires Emelianenko’s composure and likes the fact that the Russian heavyweight is a humble family man. In an interview, Nelson divulged that he aspires to be like Emelianenko in that he always keeps his composure in check. For him, Emelianenko is a role model, the kind that stays rooted on the ground despite being one of the best the sport has ever seen.

4. He relishes being a role model.

With everything he has achieved, Nelson has become a role model himself. As a fighter at the highest level of the sport, he understands that many people look up to guys like him. He is perfectly aware of the attention he’s getting, not just in Iceland, but all over the world. Yet when asked if he considers himself a role model, he said that he isn’t the person to answer the question.

5. He practices modest living.

Nelson isn’t one to live lavishly. Claiming he is not the type who is too concerned about worldly goods, he enjoys going for healthy choices, spending time with family and friends, and being able to do what he loves to do, which is fight. He is close to his grandparents and makes it a point to visit them in their farm when he has the time.

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