Gunnar Nelson vs Danny Mitchell
As he casually wanders through the Leisure Centre, Gunnar ‘Shotgun’ Nelson’s face is a picture of calmness. His pleasant demeanor wouldn’t look out of place in a Customer Service based role as he stops to greet people, many friends, some fans and a few team mates but still many people are oblivious as to who he is. His polite manner and huge respect for each and every one of his opponents is well received by the MMA community with UFC referee and Fighters Only Magazine contributor Marc Goddard saying Gunnar is “…everything that is good about this sport…“.
Danny ‘Turbo Time’ Mitchell, a well liked British MMA and boxing champion also fools a number of people with his friendly manner and sense of humour. Popular within the MMA community for his love of cheesecake and his ponytail hairstyle, Mitchell is a fierce fighter, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Brown Belt and a European MMA champion. Not exactly a walk over. Not one to shy away from a tough fight having fought the likes of Lee Doski, Jordan James and Andrew McQueen to name a few, Mitchell has unfortunately gone 0-2 in his last 2 bouts (albeit the most recent to Nelson). His loss before Nelson was to UK stand out and the talented Midlands fighter, Eugene Faidora, who Gunnar is set to fight next at BAMMA 4 on 25th September 2010 at The National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.
Both fighters step into the cage after being announced to cheers from the crowd at Altrincham Leisure Centre in Greater Manchester. Cage Contender certainly outdid themselves in hosting this much talked about fight. The preliminary bouts were certainly entertaining and the main event had everybody on the edge of their seats from the moment both fighters were announced.
The bell rings and both fighters effortlessly move around each other seeing who would make the first move. Both fighters move laterally so as not to stay in the same spot to avoid any ‘sitting duck’ situations. At the same time as Mitchell throws a jab, Nelson explodes and clips Mitchell with a hook before securing a bodylock and scoring a takedown. Nelson is immediately in side control and is securing position before looking to move. He looks to pass to mount and throws a few shots before a glancing elbow opens a cut above the left eye of Mitchell. ‘Turbo Time’ manages to retrieve guard and keep ‘Shotgun’ at range by extending his legs before Nelson passes once again to land more shots. Using strikes to bait Mitchell to turn to his side to expose his back, Nelson establishes the same back control in which he had on Jeff Monson and looks to sink in the choke. Mitchell throws a couple of punches to the head of Nelson to try and loosen the grip but is forced to tap at 2 minutes and 54 seconds of the first round.
A short fight but one which makes a bold statement – Gunnar is no joke.
His last 2 fights have been won by rear naked choke and both Sam Elsdon and Danny Mitchell have commented on Nelson’s superior Jiu Jitsu skills – namely his hip movement and strength with Mitchell stating, “…the cut was bad like but didnt affect what followed, his control was just awesome, i was suprised i managed to put him back in my guard when he mounted me, his hip movement is the best i have ever felt. His shot was lightening fast too, nothing i could do to stop it even after so much prep…” and Sam Elsdon, “..his guard is unbelievably rigid and his hips thrust forward. My main mount reversal plan was quite simple but pretty effective (most of the time)… What I found was that his groin strength and hip and back rigidity was too much to be able to push him with the amount I would have needed to sweep, so I then decided to turn a bit to create more space. He came down to close the space and for a second or so there was a small gap which I thought I might be able to escape from, but he put the choke in position but as it was on the side I wasnt massively concerned as he felt he was on his side as well, but with a slip of the hips he was on top and pulled up. I didnt tap because of the choke I tapped because neck crank pain I felt and you can see the pain on my face in the photos, he pulled upwards, once again I imagine using his immense hips and back strength….”.
With so much dedication and skill, one can always be forgiven for thinking Gunnar is in a rush to make it on the big stage. Many people are insistant that Gunnar is being watched by the likes of the bigger, world dominating promotions such as the UFC and Strikeforce but his father, Halli, insists he is in no rush, “We have been approached by some promotions, big and not so big, but Gunnar is in no hurry. If the right offer and a good contract comes along, then we will surly look at it. If not, he has plenty of things to work on. This is his life and he’s in no rush living it…”.
Gunnar’s next fight will be against Eugene Fadiora on BAMMA 4, headlined by Tom ‘Kong’ Watson vs Alex Reid. Tickets and event information can be found here.
The full event report can be found on the website of Fighters Only Magazine which can be found here.