Approaching the 5-yr anniversary of his arrival onto the UFC stage as he faces Santiago Ponzinibbio this Sunday in Glasgow, Gunnar Nelson has discovered his rhythm.

A hyped prospect with an unbeaten document and large grappling pedigree when he first signed with the group in July 2012, the Icelandic welterweight shortly backed up his superior billing with 4 consecutive victories carrying him into the Prime 15 and his first foremost occasion task.

Over the subsequent fourteen months, Nelson would falter twice, struggling a cut up choice loss to Rick Story and getting managed on the canvas by Demian Maia, with a primary-spherical win over Brandon Thatch coming in between. There have been questions on his motivation, whispers of him being over-hyped and beneath-performing, however in his final two appearances, Nelson has quieted these considerations and proven what he’s able to when he’s preventing at his greatest.

“These final two camps have been actually good,” stated Nelson. “We’ve taken in a conditioning program that helps quite a bit they usually’ve been higher deliberate, higher organized camps and I feel we’ve received it down rather well now. I’m very proud of this camp as properly; I really feel like this has been one of the best one but.

“There are all the time private points, there’s all the time one thing, however it’s extra simply dwelling and studying,” he stated of the elements which have contributed to the strong camps that yielded second-spherical submission wins and Efficiency of the Night time bonuses towards Albert Tumenov and Alan Jouban.

“You study out of your fights, you study out of your earlier camps – you study from all of it- and you then simply attempt to develop into extra full and adapt your camp to eliminate no matter flaws have been current within the earlier coaching periods or make issues which are good even higher.”

It additionally doesn’t harm to be getting ready for fight on the new Mjolnir health club, an “every little thing beneath one roof” facility that features a hairdresser and barber’s store in addition to a eating space and bar, which Nelson has no hassle admitting he saddles as much as once in a while following a top quality exercise on the mats.

“Hell yeah – it’s good to take a seat down on the bar after a tough session; it’s an excellent publish-exercise,” laughed the quickly-to-be 29-yr-previous, who may come underneath scrutiny for such an admission if he didn’t have a spotless document with regards to making weight.

“I’m on my weight,” Nelson provided as assurance. “I’m one of many few welterweights in welterweight, if that is sensible, so I’m capable of eat what I would like, though I do have a really nutritious diet general. I don’t need to endure an excessive amount of with the load reduce.”

Nelson has by no means been one to fixate on the rankings or spend an excessive amount of time pondering his place within the division, preferring inside to give attention to his craft, studying new methods and dealing by means of the totally different puzzles and challenges he’ll face within the cage.

So though he’s conscious he enters Saturday’s principal occasion firmly entrenched within the Prime 10 and a victory might set him up for a pairing towards a prime contender later within the yr, the gifted headliner is extra serious about dissecting Ponzinibbio’s recreation and determining the way to halt the American Prime Staff product’s 4-struggle profitable streak this weekend.

“He’s a man that likes to face and strike,” Nelson stated, starting his evaluation of his opponent and the issues he’ll have to do to earn a victory. “He’s received good quantity, he retains coming and he’s harmful. He’s acquired good energy as properly.

“(The keys are) with the ability to keep there, maneuver and transfer round him on the ft, catch him off guard, stun him; that sort of stuff. With the ability to learn your opponent – to see the strikes coming – and counter them is actual necessary.”

And as all the time, he’ll be getting into the cage looking for the end.

“I play fights – I don’t put faces on my opponents, however I play situations and fights time and again in my head all day, each day and I all the time image a end,” stated Nelson, who has earned a stoppage in all however considered one of his sixteen profession victories. “I all the time go in there and work to complete the battle – that’s the type of fighter I’m. I’m not some extent-fighter.

“I attempt to nook my opponent and get the job carried out and that’s what I’ll be trying to do in Glasgow.”