“Reminiscent of Early Conor” – UFC Champion and Fans Left in Awe as Conor McGregor’s Friend Gunnar Nelson Finishes Bryan Barberena at UFC 286

Published 03/18/2023, 6:46 PM EDT

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Gunnar Nelson submitted Bryan Barberena in the very first round in their welterweight bout at UFC 286. Nelson returned to competition at UFC’s London event almost exactly a year after his last bout. His opponent Barberena took the fight on short notice, almost three weeks ahead of the event.

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The Iceland-born welterweight is a teammate of former UFC double champion Conor McGregor. The SBG Ireland stalwart last fought in March 2022 when he beat Takashi Sato. 34-year-old Nelson came into the O2 Arena as a slight favorite, losing three out of his last five. To Nelson’s merit, his losses were to top-tier stars like Leon Edwards and Gilbert Burns.

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As for Barberena, the US-born welterweight came into the fight, having won three out of his last five. A slight underdog, Barberena came in with a 9-7 UFC record with wins over the likes of Robbie Lawler and Matt Brown.

Fans react to Nelson vs. Barberena at UFC 286

Nelson put on a clinic on the ground as long as the fight lasted. ‘Gunni’ spent very little time on the feet before going for the takedown and getting Barberena to the ground. The Icelandic fighter kept his composure as he methodically imposed his plan. In the dying moments of the first round, Nelson secured an armbar that forced Barberena to submit.

Fans on Twitter were impressed with that dominant Gunnar Nelson performance.

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“OK, Now I’m Crying” – Jack Shore Reveals Father Is Battling Cancer as He Gets Fans Emotional After UFC 286 Win

What did you guys think of Nelson vs. Barberena at UFC 286? What do you think is next for these fighters? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Yeswanth Praveen

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Yeswanth Praveen is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. His interests mainly lie in the realm of MMA, bodybuilding, and the fitness industry. He finished his Master's in English literature from EFLU, Hyderabad.
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