Search icon


16th Mar 2019

Gunnar Nelson suffers split decision defeat as Leon Edwards comes out on top at UFC London

Nelson's face was in a bad way

Darragh Murphy

The split decision went the right way.

There would have been some nervous intakes of breath in the Leon Edwards corner as the official announcement was made following Saturday night’s co-main event.

Most had the UFC London clash for Edwards by a pretty clear scoreline of 29-28 but one judge felt that Gunnar Nelson had done enough to win the fight.

In the end, ‘Rocky’ Edwards came away with the biggest win of his career to date by a score of 29-27, 29-28, 28-29.

The O2 Arena crowd was unexpectedly anti-Edwards, who hails from Birmingham, and made their preference for Nelson known early on with a deafening Viking clap.

The first frame was an interesting one insofar as Edwards enjoyed some surprising success in the grappling department, taking Nelson down and looking for a rear naked choke as if out to prove a point about his Brazilian jiu-jitsu credentials.

Nelson was fortunate to survive the second round as Edwards came close to securing a TKO via vicious ground and pound but ‘Gunni’ was saved by the buzzer, although the damage on Nelson’s face told its own story prior to the final round.

Despite his worsening hematoma, Nelson finally managed to execute his gameplan by taking Edwards down and pursuing the finish towards the end of the final round but the Brit defended intelligently and saw the fight out.

Edwards has now won seven straight fights in the Octagon and can look forward to a jump up the welterweight rankings next week.

It wasn’t the best weekend for Straight Blast Gym Ireland as both Cian Cowley and John Phillips also ended up on the wrong end of split decisions.