Gunnar forced out of UFC 160 with an injury
Apr 10, 2013: We are sad to say that Gunnar has been forced out of the UFC 160 card against Mike Pyle with a knee injury. He will have surgery, heal fast and be ready for action later this summer. Gunnar would like to thank everyone for their great support.
Gunnar fighting Mike Pyle at UFC 160
March 11, 2013: Gunnar will be fighting the longtime veteran Mike "Quicksand" Pyle (29-8-1) at UFC 160 on May 25, Memorial Day weekend, at Pyle's home ground at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. Gunnar is of course coming from a unanimous decision win over Jorge Santiago (25-11) at UFC on Fuel TV 7 in London in February. That was Gunnar's 11th straight win but Gunnar is undefeated in his MMA career.
Pyle is also on a great run coming from an impressive three-fight win streak that includes first-round finishes of James Head, Josh Neer and Ricardo Funch. Pyle is in fact 6-1 in his last seven UFC fights losing only to top contender Rory MacDonald who is #3 at the UFC welterweight rankings. Gunnar is looking very much forward to facing such a great veteran of the sport.
Unanimous decision win in London
Feb 20, 2013: Gunnar defeated the veteran Jorge Santiago with a unanimous decision at UFC on Fuel TV 7 on Saturday February 16th in the Wembley Arena in London, England. Gunnar had good control over the fight but in the first round the fighters where getting their rhythm. Gunnar took Jorge down once in the round but was unable to keep the BJJ black belt for over 10 years down at that time. However, Gunnar kept his calm and in the second round he dominated and took Jorge down after only 1 minute and 10 seconds. The Brazilian veteran defended well but Gunnar finally past his guard and even mounted Jorge, something that now other MMA fighter have been able to do in Jorge's 35 fights in his 11 year as a professional MMA fighter. From mount Gunnar landed some vicious elbows but wasn't able to finish Jorge before the time ran out. However Santiago was quite battered after the round and staggering to his corner. In the third round the fighters fought a standup war with Gunnar by far landing more efficient strikes that had Jorge is a lots of trouble couple of times but was able to put him away. However earning him a unanimous decision over the veteran fighter. A great win for Gunnar and a very good test but Gunnar hasn't gone into the 3rd round since his MMA debut in 2007. Gunnar is still undefeated in his MMA career with 11 wins in his last 11 fights.
(Picture below taken from the Icelandic news site visir.is)
Sponsorship contract with CCP Games
Feb 7, 2013: Gunnar recently signed a sponsor deal with with CCP Games (the company behind EVE Online) for their new game, DUST 514. Negotiations were tough but as seen in this picture Gunnar manage to "convince" David Reid, Chief Marketing Officer of CCP, to finally sign the deal. Standing are the witnesses, Halli Nelson (Gunnar's father and manager) and Sveinn Kjarval (from CCP). Sveinn seems a little bit more concerned then Halli who seems satisfied with the results. All joke set aside Gunnar is very happy with this and looking forward to the Fanfest 2013 in Harpan Reykavik Iceland on April 25-27. Here is a press release on CCP Games website. More pictures from the signing ;)
Here we go again - Edwards out, Santiago in
Jan 24, 2013: Let's hope this does not become a habit but like in Gunnar's UFC debut in Nottingham his original opponent for UFC in London on February 16th, Justin "Fast Eddy" Edwards, has now withdrawn from the fight because of an injury. He will be replaced by the very well decorated and experienced Jorge "The Sandman" Santiago. Santiago has fought at least 35 pro MMA fights with 25 wins thereof the impressive record of 23 stoppages. He has won his last two fights early in the first round. He is the former Sengoku middleweight champion and defended that title two times. Santiago has fought middleweight but is now moving down to welterweight. Fight Matrix has him ranked nr. 23 in the middleweight division (got as high as nr. 3 in 2009) but Gunnar is ranked nr. 62 in welterweight. This will be Gunnar's toughest test so far but he is well up to it and looking forward to meeting such a well-known. talented and decorated fighter in the Octagon.
Cage Contender Fighter of the Year 2012
Jan 20, 2013: Gunnar wins Fighter of the Year and Submission of the Year and his club Mjölnir wins Team of the Year at the Cage Contender awards in Ireland. Gunnar's teammate Arni "The Ice Viking" Isaksson got nomination for KO of the Year and Personality of the Year. More on the CC Awards.
2012 Nordic Breakthrough Fighter of the Year
Jan 09, 2013: MMA Viking just announced Gunnar Nelson as the their 2012 Nordic Breakthrough Fighter of the Year but the newssite is the leading resource for Nordic MMA. The site says that "Iceland's Gunnar Nelson has captured a nation through MMA like few others. While Nelson could be put in a category for consideration for Prospect or even Fighter of the Year, "Gunni" gets this new award for his unique status as both a media sensation and first win in the Octagon in impressive fashion. In addition to being the most popular in sports in mainstream Iceland media, Dana White immediately became a fan after Nelson submitted Damarques Johnson at UFC on Fuel TV 5." Gunnar is of course very proud of this and would like to thank MMA Viking for this honour. Here is the whole story on MMA Viking.
A deep "Thank YOU" from Gunnar Nelson
Dec 31, 2012: Gunnar would like to thank all his fans for the great support he's had this year and through the years. "The support I get, both home and abroad, is very important to me and gives me extra strength," he says. "I have such a great team around me that helps me on this journey and letting things flow freely has now brought us into the UFC, a dream come true and something I've always had my eyes on. I would like to thank all my family, coaches, training partners, sponsors, promoters and supporters. All my friends, you know who you are.
Let us use this time that has been given to us and love what we do and before we know we'll be doing what we love.
Thank you all and a happy New Year."
Gunnar most popular in Iceland's sports 2012
Dec 29, 2012: Iceland's biggest news site visir.is (owned by 365 who also have the biggest newspaper in Iceland and many TV stations) just put out a wrap-up over the most popular news in sports over the year 2012. Astonishingly 3 articles about Gunnar Nelson get to the top 10 list including the nr. 1 article! And one more article about him gets on the list of 20 most popular!
This is a pretty big story in a country where football (soccer, especially the English Premium League) and handball is by far the most popular sports. There are also no MMA competitions in Iceland and for e.g. Gunnar is not viable for the Icelandic sportsman award of the year because MMA and grappling are not part of the National Olympic and Sports Association of Iceland and for some strange reason only sports that are a part of that association are viable for the awards. This leaves Gunnar, along with many other great athletes, out in the cold so to speak when it comes to these awards. This however does not change the fact that the Icelandic people want to read news of Gunnar and the growth of interest in MMA in Iceland is just amazing.
The fact that articles on Gunnar are the most popular on the biggest news site in Iceland speaks for itself and lets not forget that this year we had the Olympic Games in London and the Icelandic National Team in handball competed there but they won silver at the Olympic Games 4 years a ago. And there were some big news on Icelandic pro soccer players joining big teams in England, an Icelandic athlete becoming world champion in Cross Fit for the second time and so on. With this in mind the fact that news of Gunnar are so popular become even more amazing.
Interview with Gunnar in WOW Magazine
Dec 19, 2012: An interview with Gunnar was just published in WOW Air Magazine (pages 68-71). It was originally done in Icelandic for an Icelandic magazine and published two years ago. Now they have translated it to English and add an intro about Gunnar being with the UFC. Click here to read.
Gunnar on UFC on Fuel 7 in London
Dec 14, 2012: Gunnar will be stepping again in the Octagon on February 16 to face Justin "Fast Eddy" Edwards at the UFC on Fuel 7 in Wembley Arena in London, UK. Edwards is coming of the biggest win of his career against the veteran Josh Neer last October. Edwards put "The Dentist" to sleep in just 45 seconds with a beautiful arm-in guillotine choke that earned him "Submission of the Night" honours at UFC on FX 5. Gunnar is of course looking very much forward to testing his skills against the strong and fast Justin Edwards. His plan is simple. To get his 11 stoppage in a row and stay unbeaten in his MMA career.
Great win for Gunnar in his UFC debut
Oct 2, 2012: Gunnar Nelson defeated the American DaMarques Johnson in the 1st round by submission (RNC) at UFC on Fuel TV 5 in Nottingham, England, last Saturday night. This was Gunnar's debut in the UFC. DaMarques came in much bigger than Gunnar who hardly had to cut any weight for this catch weight bout a 175. Gunnar weighed in at 175 as agreed but DaMarques however weighed in at 183, missing the cache weight by 8 pounds. This is the biggest weight difference in the history of welterweight in the UFC.
Gunnar got some very warm welcoming from the crowd in Nottingham, both from the English fans and the massive Icelandic group that came over to support him. In the first seconds Gunnar flicked a high kick at Johnson's head who was obivously pretty surprised by the kick. Gunnar then landed both a body kick and leg kick before closing the distance and taking the fight to the ground. Gunnar worked from half-guard but Johnson managed to kick of that fence catches him in an omoplata for few seconds but Gunnar easily rolled out of that and into side control after landing few blows to DaMarques and then passing his guard. Gunnar then got the full mount forcing Johnson to give up his back. From there Gunnar worked for the RNC, getting it after setting up a body triangle and lending some blows. Gunnar gets the submission win in his UFC debut, tapping DaMarques Johnson out with a RNC 3:34 into the first round.
More change of events
September 18, 2012: There has been more change of events because Rich Attonito is now out of the picture as and opponent for Gunnar Nelson at the UFC show in Nottingham on September 29. Now Gunnar will be facing the experienced DaMarques "Darkness" Johnson at UFC in Nottingham. The fight will be at catch weight 175 pounds. As has been stated Rich "The Raging Bull" Attonito was supposed to step in for Pascal Krauss who got injured in training on Saturday but on Monday Attonito withdrew from the fight for some reason. However the UFC matchmaker, Joe Silva, moved fast and the TUF veteran DaMarques "Darkness" Johnson answered the call and will be fighting Gunnar in Nottingham. This will surely be a tough challenge for Gunnar but DaMarques Johnson is by far the biggest name he has met on his MMA career so far.
Attonito steps in for injured Krauss
September 16, 2012: The German fighter Pascal Krauss who was supposed to be Gunnar's opponent in UFC on Fuel TV 5 in Nottingham in less then two weeks is out injured. The American former NCAA Division I wrestler and TUF veteran Rich "The Raging Bull" Attonito will replace him and because of the short notice the fight will be at catchweight 175 pounds but Attonito moved down to welterweight from middleweight only last year. Attonito pro record is 10-5 and 3-2 in the UFC with his biggest wins over Daniel Roberts and the BJJ black belt Rafael "Sapo" Natal who both dropped a decision to the American Top Team fighter.
Over hundred airplane seats sold to the UFC
August 16, 2012: There is an article on Gunnar and his upcoming fight in the UFC at the front page (and page 50) of the biggest newspaper in Iceland (Fréttablaðið - third time that Gunnar is on the front page in about a month). Among other things in this article the manager of Express-travels (at Icelandic Express airlines) says that they decided to offer around 60 seats (flight, hotel and UFC ticket) and they sold out in a flash. Then they put up another offer with more seats in collaboration with an Icelandic radio station and the response is in the way that they are probably putting up the third one! They say the response has gone way beyond their wildest dreams. "Our trouble is we need more airplane seats!" says the manager of Express-travels but they've sold over hundred seats according to the article. The Icelandic TV Station 2 will be showing the fight live and is sending two commentators to Nottingham to cover the fight. Here is the article in Icelandic for our Icelandc fans.
Training in New York
August 15, 2012: Gunnar is now in New York training with Renzo Gracie and his team at the Renzo Gracie Academy preparing for his UFC debut against Pascal "Panzer" Krauss in the end of September (see story below). He's been lucky enough to train with the likes of GSP and other great fighters while staying there. Also great thanks to our friend Erik Owings at Mushin NYC for all his support.
Gunnar fights in UFC in Nottingham
July 11, 2012: We are happy to confirm that Gunnar Nelson has signed a contract with the UFC and will be fighting (verbally agreed) the German Pascal "Panzer" Krauss (10-1) on the UFC show in Nottingham on September 29th. See more on this on MMA Weekly, Sherdog and MMAViking and elsewhere. Gunnar is extriemly proud to join the UFC and hopes this contract will only be the first in a long relationship with the organization. He looks forward to stepping into the octagon in September for the most important fight in his career so far.
Please LIKE us on Facebook
July 7, 2012: We would like to draw attention to that there is an official supporters page for Gunnar Nelson on Facebook. We would deeply appreciate if you would go there and hit the LIKE button. It should be notice that the facebook page is maintained by his supporters, not by himself, and it is not his personal facebook.
MMA Viking says Gunnar is UFC ready
July 2, 2012: The Nordic mixed martial arts website MMA Viking made Gunnar the first in their new series "UFC Ready Viking", where they feature the best fighters outside of UFC/Strikeforce/Bellator. In the article's introduction MMA Viking says they will bring their readers "fighters from the Nordic countries that are ready to compete in the Octagon now. These are the best battle-tested athletes that don't need any additional fights or development… they are "UFC Ready". Let's start with Iceland's Gunnar Nelson, ranked #2 welterweight in the Nordics by MMA Viking, only behind Martin Kampmann."
Here is a link to the article.
Gunnar awarded the JCI 2012 awards
June 1, 2012: Last nigh Gunnar received the Junior Chamber International award in Iceland for young people that are "leading by example and creating positive change." Gunnar is of course very proud to receive this award.
A Calm Mind
May 1, 2012: In this video Gunnar Nelson talks about his approach to BJJ and MMA and how his mind is the strongest part of his game. He believes to be good at BJJ you need to have a clear and relaxed mind in order to let your game flow and be creative. Video made by Stuart Cooper Films.
Video of Gunnar's fight against Butenko
March 27, 2012: Gunnar Nelson vs. Alexander Butenko as the main event at Cage Contender 12 in Dublin, Ireland, on February 25th 2012.
Double gold at Mjolnir Open 2012
March 24, 2012: Gunnar won double at Iceland's biggest grappling tournament (Mjolnir Open) yesterday, taking gold both in his weight class and the absolutes. His local club, Mjölnir – SBG Iceland, took 8 out of 9 gold's at the tournament, including both the men and women absolutes. Around 80 competitors from four grappling/BJJ clubs competed at the tournament that uses ADCC rules and weight classes. Here are some pictures from the event and most of Gunnar's bouts can be found on YouTube under Mjölnir Open 2012.
Gunnar first to stop Alexander Butenko
February 29, 2012: After 17 months away from competing in MMA Gunnar stepped in the cage again last Saturday night to face the talented Ukrainian fighter Alexander "Iron Capture" Butenko as the main event at the Cage Contender XII show in Dublin, Ireland. After landing two vicious leg kicks Gunnar threw Butenko with a beautiful Uchi Mata (inner thigh throw), passing his guard immediately into side control. From there Gunnar secured his dominant and even though Butenko tried all he could to bridge up and get out Gunnar soon got the mount from where his landed some solid punches and elbows. At one time Gunnar looked up to the referee as to see if he wasn't gonna stop the fight and as he didn't Gunnar secured Butenko's arm for an armbar submitting Butenko 4:21 min. into the first round. This is the first time Butenko has been stopped in his MMA career but until now he had only lost by judge's decision and finished 10 out of his 12 wins with submission, thereof 6 by armbar. Gunnar is still unbeaten in his MMA career ending all of his 9 wins in the 1st round except 1 that he finished with a KO in the 2nd. Here is a video of the fight.
Gunnar facing Alexander Butenko
February 7, 2012: Gunnar will be facing the very strong and talented Ukrainian fighter Alexander "Iron Capture" Butenko as the main event at the Cage Contender XII show in Dublin, Ireland, on February 25th. Butenko is on a great run in MMA having won 10 out of his 11 last fights and he has never been stopped in his MMA career, his losses coming only by judge's decision. Being a black belt in both Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Combat Sambo Butenko has the amazing submission rate of 83,33% in his MMA wins. He is a cousin of Alexey Oleinik, and trains with him and fighters like Igor Vovchanchin, and the brothers Aleksander and Fedor Emelianenko, Fedor being as people know claimed by many as the greatest MMA fighter ever.
Gunnar will now be returning to the MMA scene having taken 17 months of from MMA competition. He is now in Dublin training with John Kavanagh preparing for this fight. Over there is also Arni "The Ice Viking" Isaksson who will be fighting on the same card against Rich "Souza" Gorey.
Gunnar fighting in February
December 21, 2011: Gunnar will be fighting at the Cage Contender XII show in Dublin, Ireland on February 25th as the main event of the evening. His opponent will be announced as soon as possible. Gunnar has fought on Cage Contender before, when he defeated Danny Mitchell in the 1st round at Cage Contender VI - Nelson vs. Mitchell in Manchester, England on August 28th 2010. Gunnar has not competed in MMA since he defeated Eugene Fadiora in the 1st round at Bamma 4 in Birmingham, England on September 25th 2010. After that Gunnar decided to take at least one year off from competing in MMA to concentrate on his training. He is looking very forward to entering the MMA scene again after 17 months of non-competing in MMA.
Article on Gunnar at MMA Viking
Oct 12, 2011: The Nordic mixed martial arts website MMA Viking today published an article about Gunnar but the website mostly covers MMA in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, and Denmark.
Here is a link to the article on Gunnar.
Good performance at ADCC
Oct, 2011: Gunnar had a good run at the ADCC 2011. He was very light in the -88kg weight class (weighted in only 82kg in his clothes and shoes) and had some very tough battles. In his first match Gunnar faced Marko Helen, the present and two fold European Champion and multiple Finnish champion. After a double overtime Gunnar won on points, 5-0. Gunnar then ran into Andre Galvao and lost a very tough and close battle on points scored in the last 20 second. Andre Galvao then went on to win the weight class and the absolute. Gunnar was invited to compete in the absolute and met the Brazilian and American champion and former world champion Bruno Frazzato in the first match. Gunnar defeated Frazzato very convincingly on points. Gunnar the met the six fold world champion and two fold ADCC champion Alexandre "Xande" Riberio and lost a very close match on one sweep (2 points). Gunnar had Xande in a pretty tight guillotine choke for a while but the very experience grappler work his way out of it. Gunnar can be very proud of his performance at the ADCC 2011 and plans on being there again in two years. In the interview below Gunnar speaks of his experience at the ADCC 2011:
Gunnar up a weight class at ADCC 2011
Sep 15, 2011: Gunnar has decided to move up to the -88 kg weight class at the ADCC 2011 that will be held in England later this month. This might sound strange to many knowing that Gunnar walks around 81-82 kg but the reason for this lies in the new weight rules of ADCC saying fighters will weigh-in on Friday 23rd of September and just before their first fights on 24th and 25th of September. The weigh-ins is strict and there will not be any weight allowances. Gunnar does not like to cut too much weight and even though he could easily get down to 77 kg, he would rather be lighter in his weight class than have to worry about holding the weight all weekend and possibly be dehydrated because of that. This is completely his decision and the ADCC was kind enough to let him move up a weight class.
Video of Gunnar teaching in England
Gunnar gets an invitation to ADCC 2011
May 11, 2011: We are very pleased to confirm that Gunnar Nelson has received an invitation to compete at the ADCC 2011 that will be held in Nottingham, England, on September 24-25 this year. As most of you know ADCC is the toughest submission grappling event in the world and is held every second year at different places all over the world. Gunnar will be competing in the -77kg weight class this time but when he competed at the ADCC 2009 (in Barcelona) he was in the -88kg weight class (even though he weighted just around 80kg) because the -77kg division was full. In 2009 Gunnar lost a very close judge decision against James Brasco in the -88kg division after double overtime but he made a great comeback in the absolute division where he finished 4th beating some very tough opponents in Jeff Monson and David Avellan. Gunnar says he is very proud and honored to get an invitation to ADCC 2011.
Mind set of an athlete
February 17, 2011: A short film about Gunnar's mentality, made by Gudjon Hrafn Gudmundsson a student at The Icelandic Film School.
Surfjitsu with Gunnar and John Kav
Jan 19, 2011: Gunnar and his coach John Kavanagh will be teaching at the 1st ever “Surfjitsu” week 21st-26th March 2011 at the Shinobi Academy in Lagos, Portugal. This will be a week of Brazilain Jujitsu lifestyle. Surfing in the morning and Jujitsu in the afternoon with Gunnar Nelson and John Kavanagh. This is a unique experience and will book out fast there are 40 place only available so book today and live the dream. More info here. And on Facebook.
Gunnar Nelson higlight video
November 23, 2010: A great highlight video of Gunnar made by Jon Vidar Arnthorsson at Mjölnir, Gunnar's local club. More videos can be found at Mjölnir video page.
Good victory over Michael Russell
November 22, 2010: Around two thousands spectators were at Iceland’s biggest arena Saturday night when two of Europe’s youngest BJJ black belts clashed in a No-Gi grappling match under ADCC rules (-77kg weight class). Gunnar Nelson (22) met England’s greatest grappling talent Michael Russell (26) in a bout that was the highlight of Iceland Health and Fitness Expo held over the weekend, featuring both 4 times Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler and Monica Brant in a bodybuilding, the strong man contest and many other events in the arena Saturday night. The bout between Gunnar and Michael was the final event and Gunnar got some great support from the Icelandic crowd but Michael Russell is the most decorated foreign grappler to compete in Iceland. So there was much excitement for this fight and great atmosphere in the arena when Gunnar and Michael finally clashed. Gunnar got Michael down in the first seconds of the fight but Michael showed some great guard defence. But Gunnar slowly but surely won his way pass his opponents guard, took Michael’s back and choked him into submission 4 minutes into the match. Great win for Gunnar against a very tough and talented opponent. Here is a video of the fight.
Gunnar wins double again
November 9, 2010: Gunnar won double at the Icelandic National BJJ Championship last Saturday winning both his weight class and the absolute. This is the third year the Icelandic National BJJ Championship is held and Gunnar has won both his weight class and the absolute in all three, winning all of his matches so far. Around 80 competitors from 5 clubs participated in the championship. Gunnar’s home club, Mjölnir, won most medals of the five clubs including gold in all weight classes except two. In the absolute all the medals went to competitors from Mjölnir. The picture below shows the medalists of the absolute division, all of them are from Mjölnir. They are from the left: Þráinn Kolbeinsson (silver), Gunnar Nelson (gold) and Sighvatur Helgason (brons). Gunnar fought Þráinn and Sighvatur both on his way to the gold but in Iceland competitors don't close a division even though they come from the same club. They fight it out.
Good night Eugene
Sept 27, 2010: The was some great anticipation for Gunnar's fight against the local Birmingham hero, Eugene Fadiora, at Bamma 4 in the National Indoor Arena last Satuday. Both fighters were putting their undefeated record on the line, Fadiora being 10-0 before the fight (19-0 in all with semipro and pro) and Gunnar coming of his 7 win against Danny Mitchell less than month ago. Eugene got great support from his local crowd but that as far as it went. Gunnar silenced the 6000 English attendees 3 minutes and 51 second into the 1st round. The fighters felt each other out for a while before Gunnar stormed in for the takedown denying Fadiora even a single shot. Fadiora delayed the takedown for a few second with some good takedown defence but couldn’t fight of the Icelander who put him soon on the canvas. After that it was Gunnar’s world. Passing to side control and dropping some hammer fist bombs Gunnar took Fadiora’s back when he tried to blast his way up. He then put the hooks in and secured a RNC even though it seemed to be over Fadiora’s chin. Fadiora manage to stand up only to find himself in a figure-four body lock and was forced to tap out and almost passed out before the referee rushed in to keep him on his feet. This was Gunnar 8 win in a row having finished them all, 7 in the first round and 1 with a KO in the second round.
Sherdog: Weekend Rundown
Bamma 4 report
MMAWeekly: Bamma 4
For our Icelandic Readers
Interviews and articles before the fight
Sept 14, 2010: Both Gunnar and Eugene Fadiora have been interviewed for their upcoming fight by Hywel Teague who has written articles on the BAMMA website:
The Sniper takes aim at Nelson
Nelson: Fadiora has a lot to worry about
Taking on England's greatest prospect
Sept 6, 2010: Gunnar will undoubtedly be facing his toughest test up to date when he fights Eugene Fadiora at BAMMA 4 in the NIA Arena in Birmingham England on September 25th. Many consider Fadiora to be England’s greatest welterweight prospect being 10-0 in his professional career so both fighters will be putting their unbeaten record on the line. Gunnar will be going to Dublin to train under John Kavanagh for this fight.
Gunnar takes Mitchell out in the first round
August 30, 2010: The Cage Contender show in Manchester last Saturday was a great success for Gunnar who defeated England’s super talent Danny Mitchell with a RNC submission in less than 3 minutes. Gunnar took Danny down early in the 1st round after a body lock, secured his position and landed some shots and a devastating elbows that cut Danny above his left eye. After Danny turned away to try to avoid the strikes Gunnar took his back and sank in a RNC choke to end the fight 2 min. 51 sec. into the 1st round. Here is an good article about the fight.
Gunnar fighting Danny Mitchell
August 18, 2010: Gunnar will be fighting England's super talent Danny Mitchell at the Cage Contender VI show in Manchester, England on August 28th. Mitchell (at 8-1), who is coming off his first professional loss, says he has never been so well prepared for any fight in his life. Being a BJJ brown belt under Chris Haueter and having competed in full contact kickboxing, K1, Muay Thai, Judo, Boxing and BJJ, Mitchell has a formidable mix of power, standup and submission skills and is certain to be a true test any fighter. So be expecting a great fight in Manchester on the 28th because Gunnar will also be very much ready.
#1 at MMA Future Stars
July 18, 2010: Gunnar is at the top of MMA Spot list over MMA Future Stars: Welterweight. He's also the youngest fighter on the list. See the list here
At the cover of Physique MMA
June 12, 2010: Gunnar is at the cover of Physique MMA magazine (June issue). The Magazine is distributed throughout nine countries in the Middle East- UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, and Egypt and also in USA. Gunnar's sport career is covered in a 6 page article called Gunnar Nelson: FIGHTER BORN TO WIN.
There is also in a face to face interview (Relaxed mind, bullet-proof body) with Gunnar in the latest Gracie Magazine issue #158.
Gold at Grapplers Quest
March 21, 2010: Gunnar won the gold in his weight class (179 lb) at Grapplers Quest in New Jersey last night. The tournament is said to be the largest grappling tournament in history according to Brian Cimins, Grapplers Quest CEO. Gunnar won two of his four bouts with a choke, the first on with a RNC and the one in the finals with a Guillotine. He lost his bout in the absolute against a much heavier opponent on one advantage.
Training with the best
March 7, 2010: As many know Gunnar is now in New York training with Renzo Gracie. And so are numbers of great MMA and BJJ athletes including the welterweight champion Georges Saint-Pierre who went to New York to grapple with Renzo and his team as a part of his preparation for his title defense against Dan Hardy at UFC 111. Training at the Renzo Gracie Academy (RGA) right now are also many other MMA fighters, that have a big fight coming up shortly, like Frankie Edgar (fighting BJ Penn for the UFC lightweight title), Kenny Florian (fighting Takanori Gomi) and Ricardo Almeida (fighting Matt Brown) to name just a few. Renzo himself is of course fighting Matt Hughes on April 10th at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi. The GracieMag paid RGA a visit recently as can be seen on their website.
Sherdog Prospect Watch
February 24, 2010: Sherdog Prospect Watch did an interview with Gunnar when he was in London for the BAMMA fight. It was published on Sherdog yesterday. Read it here.
First round submission at BAMMA
Feb 14, 2010: Gunnar choked Sam Elsdon into submission 2:30 minute into the first round at the BAMMA (British Association of MMA) show in London last night. Gunnar took the fight to the ground early, mounted and took Elsdon back when he tried to turn to avoid punches from the Icelander. Gunnar then quickly slipped in a rear naked choke and submitted Elsdon, sustaining his unbeaten MMA record. Video of the fight...
Gunnar fighting in London in February
Jan 13, 2010: Gunnar will be fighting at the UK show BAMMA (British Association of MMA) in London on February 13th. BAMMA is aiming to become the UK’s most prominent non-UFC fight show and from what we’ve heard the show will be televised on Bravo. Gunnar’s opponent will be the British 31 year old Sam Elsdon who is 2-0 in Pro MMA and won an eight-man tournament last year. He has also won all his Semi-Pro and Amateur MMA fights. Elsdon is a first dan Judo black belt and a Muay Thai practitioner for over ten years. He also holds a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Along with his grappling skills Elsdon has proven to have good striking and heavy hands. So this has all the potential to be a great fight as both fighters will attempt to preserve their unbeaten MMA record.
More about this: Fighters Only Magazine, GMA, Gracie Magazine, Sherdog.
On The Spot
December 23, 2009: MMA Spot did an inteview with Gunnar about his MMA and grappling caree. Read it here
Gunnar wins double at the Icelandic BJJ Championship
November 10, 2009: Gunnar won double at the Icelandic BJJ Championship on Sunday winning both his weight class (-81kg) and the open weight. This is the second year the Icelandic BJJ Championship is held and there was great increase in competitors between years but there are five BJJ clubs in Iceland and they all send competitors to the Championship. Gunnar won all his 11 matches and like last year without giving up a single point. His home club, Mjölnir, won most medals of the five clubs including gold in all weight classes except one. Here is a short video clip from the Championship and here is some more info for our Icelandic readers. SportTv.is in Iceland showed the event live and here is their recording. The picture below shows the last seconds of the open weight finals, Gunnar submitting Ingthor Orn Valdimarsson (winner of the +100kg division) with a guillotine-choke.
Silver at Scandinavian Open BJJ 2009
October 20, 2009: Gunnar got silver at the Scandinavian Open BJJ 2009 in Stockholm, Sweden, last weekend, in the Black Belt -88kg weight class. This was Gunnar's first Gi tournament as a BJJ black belt. Ten Icelanders from the Gunnar's home club Mjölnir competed at the tournament, all in the blue and white belt classes except Gunnar. The Icelandic competitors did very well, bringing home 8 medals (2 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze). This was the first time Mjölnir participates in an international tournament.
Gold at black belt debut in Pan No-Gi 2009
October 4, 2009: Gunnar won gold last night in his black belt debut at the Pan No-Gi Championship 2009. He won his weight class (medium heavy) and fought his way to the finals in the absolute division along with his teammate Rafael "Sapo" Franca. They decided not to fight and closed out the bracket with a coin toss-up which Sapo won. So Gunnar got the silver.
Gunnar beats Ailton Barbosa. More pictures from the Pan No-Gi Championship.
Gunnar awarded black belt under Renzo
Sept 30, 2009: Gunnar was awarded his black belt today by Renzo Gracie. On the Renzo Gracie Academy website Gunnar is said to demonstrate amazing ability in all areas of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and to be a caliber of grappler that the RGA is proud to have represent them. This has been a amazing ride for Gunnar who has only been doing BJJ for less than four years and had no grappling experience before that. Gunnar got his BJJ blue belt in April 2006 and purple belt in June 2007, both under Matt Thornton SBGi (with some great help by John Kavanagh and Karl Tanswell). Gunnar then got his BJJ brown belt under John Kavanagh (SBG Ireland) in June 2008. Shortly after that Gunnar went to New York to train at the Renzo Gracie Academy to advance his game further and now after training there for a almost a year he earns his black belt under Renzo. Gunnar's black belt follows his great run at the ADCC 2009 in Barcelona where he took 4th place in the absolute division.
More about this: RGA web, Fighters Only Magazine, Gracie Magazine, Tatame.
Gunnar takes 4th place in absolute at ADCC 2009
Sept 29, 2009: Gunnar had a great run at the ADCC 2009 in Barcelona last weekend, beating the much heavier Jeff Monson and Dave Avellan to take 4th place in the absolute division! On Saturday Gunnar lost on a judge decision against James Brasco in the -88kg division after double overtime. But a great comeback in the absolute division on Sunday got him the fourth place, without a doubt making him the upset of the tournament. Coming in the lightest in the absolute (Gunnar weighted in 83kg in his clothes and shoes!) and being drawn against the heaviest man there, the veteran and monster of a man Jeff Monson, everybody expected the former ADCC champion (who had taken third place in +99kg earlier) to crush the young Icelander. However, Gunnar had other plans. The bout went to double overtime and but we’ll let the live ADCC webcast do the talking:
Gunnar Nelson pulls guard on Monson... Monson has a lot of trouble passing Nelson’s guard... Nelson and Monson into overtime. Nelson shoots. Monson sprawls, Monson shoots and gets reversed! Nelson almost getting the back of Monson... Monson looks tired... A much smaller Nelson keeps pushing Monson from the mats. Crowd is cheering. Nelson and Monson goes into second overtime. Nelson shoots, Monson looks tired but manages to sprawl and reverse. Nelson almost gets his back again... Monson has headlock on Nelson. Nelson escapes. Both back on their feet. Nelson shoots and Monson sprawls and spins to his back. Nelson escapes. Monson shoots, but can’t get the takedown. Nelson shoots in and gets the back. Both hooks in. Attacks the arm. Times up, Nelson wins by points and the whole arena is standing up cheering!
Gunnar Nelson beats Jeff Monson. More pictures.
Photo taken by James Oluoch-Olunya.
In the quarter finals Gunnar met another veteran, Dave Avellan. Again the live ADCC webcast:
Nelson and Avellan starts... Nelson takes Avellan down, but no points scoring yet. Gunnar gets another takedown on Avellan. Nelson gets headlock, switches to singleleg. Avellan shoots, takes Nelson down, but Nelson spins out and takes Avellan down. Attacking his back, one hook in... Avellan escapes. No points. Avellan shoots in, Nelson defends. Avellan shoots for single leg, Nelson defends. Nelson shoots in, Avellan attacks the arm. Nelson gets the back, one hook in, Avellan taps to a rear naked choke!
Great run by Gunnar and this won him the fourth place in the absolute. In the semifinals Gunnar had a great fight against one of the world greatest grapplers and many times World Champion, Alexandre “Xande” Ribeiro, who earlier won the -99 division. However near the end of the match Xande caught him in a beautiful kneebar winning the match. Gunnar then lost against Vinicius “Vinny” Magalhães (-99 division) on points scored by takedown in the last 5 seconds of overtime in a bout for the 3rd place.
One of the top MMA prospect in Europe
June 25, 2009: Sherdog.com has compiled a list of the top ten Euro MMA prospects to look out for. Qualification criteria were a maximum age of 23 years and no contract with a major promotion yet. Gunnar is number four on the list and at the top of the welterweights. Here is what Sherdog.com said about Gunnar:
Originally from a Karate background, Icelandic youngster Gunnar Nelson has been setting the mats on fire since focusing on BJJ three years ago. The John Kavanagh brown belt has trained extensively with B.J. Penn and Renzo Gracie in the past. His big breakthrough came when he took gold at this year’s Pan-American BJJ Championship and silver at the World Championship. Next to that, his perfect MMA record seems just a side note, but it is further evidence of his excellence.
Gunnar competing at the ADCC
June 17, 2009: Gunnar has been offered to compete at the ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) World Submission Fighting Championship that will be held in Barcelona, Spain, on the 26-27th of September. This is of course a great honour for Gunnar but as many people know ADCC is a competition held every two years involving professional athletes who have been successful at the highest levels of Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, Judo, Sambo, Shooto and Mixed Martial Arts. The rules of the event disallow strikes while promoting grappling and submissions. Among many other famous fighters it’s said that Fedor Emelianenko will be entering the ADCC for the first time this year. Gunnar will probably be the least experienced fighter ever to enter the Abu Dhabi Championship who is by most consider to be the hardest submission competition in the world with only an handful of picked fighter in each weight class. However Gunnar’s normal weight class (-77kg) is completely full so Gunnar has been offered a place in the -88kg weight class. This will of course be a great challenge for the young Icelander who will not only be the least experienced fighter in the tournament but also undoubtedly the lightest in his weight class.
Silver at the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship
June 6, 2009: Gunnar won silver in Men's Brown Belt Middle Weight at the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship (Mundials) today after losing the finals against Gabriel Goulart on close points. Gunnars first match today was against Alexander Vamos, a match were Gunnar secured his win with a choke. His next match was a rematch against last year World Champion Ryan Beauregard but yesterday Gunnar lost a match against Ryan in the Open Class division. And Gunnar was not going to lose against Ryan again and today Gunnar was winning the match on points when Ryan was DQ’ed for pushing Gunnar after the referee had momentarily stopped the fight. Gunnar continued on his way to the finals winning Vinicius Corrales and Bruno Allen in the semi finals. In the finals Gunnar met Gabriel Goulart in a great match. Gunnar was winning with 2 advantages but with only 30 seconds left of the match Gabriel was given 2 points to take the World Championship after Gunnar had tried an armbar from the top but ending up on bottom with Gabriel in his guard. Again we’ll let a commentary from the Renzo Gracie forum do the talking about Gunnar’s day at the Mundials:
An unlucky draw saw two RGA team members face each other in the first round: Alex Vamos from Joe D'arce's school and our favorite Viking friend Gunnar Nelson.
Alex attacked hard Gunni's legs, but the good technique and flexibility of the Icelandic wonder nullified every submission attempt and cruised to win the match.
Gunni's good start turned out to be a good omen.
He proceeded to crush with cool temperament all his sequent opponents.
In a much anticipated rematch from the previous day's absolute, Gunni had the chance to face again high caliber US fighter Ryan Beauregard.
Just to refresh everyone's memory Gunni lost by a weak ref call the previous day when Ryan was awarded 2points from a drop seoi nage that we all felt was incomplete.
With Gunni this time up on points Ryan attempted a dbl leg take down towards the end of the tatame perimeter. Gunni's reflexes stuffed brilliantly the shot and the ref momentarily asked the competitors to stop fighting to bring back the action to the middle of the mat.
Ryan, unprovoked by an always stone faced Gunnar, pushed violently our teammate on the chest towards the bleachers.
The ref following IBJJF regulation DQed Ryan on the spot, and raised Gunnar's hand in victory.
The final match of the middle weight brown belt division saw Gunnar face Fabio's Gurgel's pupil and 2008 Middle Weight and Absolute Purple belt champ Gabriel Goulart. As the match started Gunni's strong passes were matched by a very technical spider guard by Gabriel. The crowd was going crazy; in one side all the Alliance SP guys with Gurgel in command on the other side the RGA/GB crowd with Master Renzo and old pal Vinicius Draculino yelling strategy to our fighter.
The match was decided by a last minute scramble. Over a strong sweep attempt by Gabriel, Gunnar latched on a tight inverted armbar.
Time stood still. The arm was almost extended, when Gabriel tried a last second pull to free the arm. Gunnar fell and the Alliance representative gained the two points that 30sec later will crown him the new 2009 Middle weight brown belt champ.
Great run by Gunnar, who was just one win short of winning a Triple Crown of Jiu-Jitsu if such a thing exists by medaling in every major BJJ competition in the US this year.
Gunnar Nelson (silver), Gabriel Goulart (gold), Diego Vivaldo Ferreira (bronz) and Bruno Allen (bronz). More pictures from the Mundials 2009.
Gunnar out of Open Class at the Mundials
June 5, 2009: The brown belt Open Class division was today. Gunnar met last year lightweight World Champion Ryan Beauregard (now competing in middle weight) in his first match and lost by a controversial decision. We’ll let Gunnar’s teammate do the talking but this was posted at the Renzo Gracie forum after the match:
In the brown belt absolute earlier in the day our favorite Viking fighter and 2009 Pan AM and NY OPEN champion Gunnar Nelson fought a tough battle against last year's Leve World Champ Ryan Beauregard (his opponent this year is fighting at Middle weight so even if it was absolute from a weight point they were even).
The clue point of this match was right at the beginning. Gunnar's opponent attempted a drop Seoi Nage. Gunnar stuffed the throw, and proceeded to attack the back. After a battle to control the turtle Gunny ended up on bottom. Unfortunately the ref raised the hand to award Beauregard the two points that decided the match (no more points were scored; his opponent was in my opinion stalling for most part of the match).
This was probably a very controversial call (but not the only one in a long day of BJJ fights). It's true that the opponent initiated the take down, but as Gunnar proceeded to attack the back for a few seconds there was no real continuation of the action, and being the turtle a neutral position the opponent should have not been awarded those points. Gunnar will be fighting again tomorrow in his regular weight division.
Gold and bronze at the New York Open
April 19, 2009: Gunnar won gold and bronze at the New York International Open Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2009 last night. He won his weight class and took third place in open weight. Gunnar was very close to getting in the finals in open weight but he lost in the semi-finals with one advantage against a much heavier opponent. Gunnar won the finals in his weight class with a Gi-choke from behind.
Gunnar wins gold at the Pan Championship
March 29, 2009: We are very proud to say that Gunnar just took the gold at the Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2009 beating five opponents. Gunnar competed in the men's brown belt division, middle weight. In the first match Gunnar defeated the well known Clark Gracie with points (9-4), but Clark is the son of Carley Gracie 8th degree Red-and-Black Belt and Brazilian National Champion from 1969-1972 (Clark is also the grandson of Carlos Gracie). Gunnar won his second match (against Kale Lopez) also on points and in his third match he forced his opponent to tap out with a gi-choke from behind. In the semi-finals Gunnar met another veteran, Daren Roberts, a third runner up at the No-Gi World Championship 2007 and at the Pan Championship 2007. Gunnar defeated Daren with a cross-choke from the front in three minutes. In the finals Gunnar fought Bruno Alves, a silver medallist from the last World Championship (Mundials). Gunnar controlled the match from the beginning and secured the gold by gi-choking Bruno into submission in less than four minutes. Videos here…
Bruno Alves Gunnar Nelson Daren Roberts
Pictures of Gunnar training at RGA in New York
February 11, 2009: Arni Torfason a freelance photographer working in Reykjavik Iceland visit Gunnar when he was in New York last December and took some pictures of him training at the Renzo Gracie Academy. Arni Torfason has been a photographer for several years and has worked for Morgunbladid and other papers in Iceland. He was the Chairman of the Icelandic Press Photographers Association from 2006-2008. And before that Art Director at the Icelandic Press Photographers Association exhibition from 2004-2005. Gunnar is now back in New York training with Renzo Gracie and his team. Here is a slide show with some of Arni’s pictures of Gunnar in New York.
Christmas and New Year greetings
December 25, 2008: We wish all our readers and supporters a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Let’s all keep in mind that Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. May the New Year bring you all perseverance, optimism, good fortune and happiness.
Video of Gunnar's KO in Copenhagen
November 22, 2008: A video of Gunnar's victory over Iran Mascarenhas at the Adrenaline 3: Evolution in Copenhagen, September 6, is now available. As always we recommend using the "watch in high quality" link. See here...
Victory at the NAGA Championship
November 9, 2008: Gunnar competed last night at the North American Grappling Championship (NAGC) in New Jersey and won the gold in No-Gi and the silver in Gi! In Men's No-Gi Expert Middle Weight Gunnar defeated the Brazilian veteran "Macaco" Jorge Patino in the finals. Macaco is of course an illustrious Brazilian vale tudo fighter, with famous Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills, whose career began back in the 1990's (Macaco has 44 MMA fights according to his HL clip on YouTube). Gunnar then took 2nd place in Men's Gi Brown & Black Cruiser Weight after a battle in the finals against another veteran, Dan Simmler. As seen on Dan's BJJ school website he is a highly decorated and an active competitor since 1999 and has been a top five nationally "ranked" competitor in the USA for seven years, including four years at number one.
Gunnar's win over Macaco and his overall success in the NAGC is a huge accomplishment for the 20 year old Icelander and even more impressive is the fact that Gunnar didn't give up a single point in all his matches in the No-Gi competition. For our Icelandic readers here is an article about this in Icelandic.
"Macaco" Jorge Patino Gunnar Nelson William Hamilton
Gunnar the first Icelandic BJJ Champion
October 27, 2008: Gunnar took home three gold medals from the first Icelandic Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championship yesterday. He won his weight class, the open weight class and then took the third gold in the team tournament. His home club, Mjölnir - SBG Iceland, won most medals of the four BJJ clubs in Iceland. Gunnar had about 10 matches at the Championship and won them all without giving up single point. For our Icelandic readers, here is a news report of the tournament from RÚV - The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service last night.
Gunnar wins gold at GB Grappling Open
September 15, 2008: Gunnar took the gold at the 2008 Great Britain Grappling Open National Championship yesterday. The GB Championship was held in Derby, England, and Gunnar participated in the -80kg advance category (No-Gi). Gunnar had four matches and won them all, two on points and two with submission. The victory earns him a qualification for the FILA World Grappling Championship held in Lucerne Switzerland 20/21 of December 2008. However, Gunnar being Icelandic, the victory didn't win him a seat on British grappling team. That seat goes to the British opponent that Gunnar defeated in the finals.
KO victory in Copenhagen
September 6, 2008: Gunnar defeated the experienced Brazilian Iran Mascarenhas at the Adrenaline 3: Evolution in Copenhagen tonight with at great standup KO late in the second round. Gunnar landed some great shots in the round and finally put Iran out with good right hand. Both fighters came out ready to put on a war and a great show. Gunnar shot in at the beginning of the fight but slipped while Iran caught him with a right and they ended up on the ground with Gunnar in bottom guard. However the 2nd degree BJJ black belt was unable to pass Gunnar’s guard and after about two minutes they were back on their feet. After that the fight was a stand-up war. Iran tried some leg kicks but they seemed to hurt him more than Gunnar. The fighters changed strikes for the rest of the round. In the break Gunnar didn't sit down at all and his corner man (Karl Tanswell) stayed in the ring only for a few seconds. It must have been uncomfortable for Iran, as he sat in his corner, to watch Gunnar standing the whole time and staring at him for more than half the break to come out to fight. Early in the 2nd round Gunnar tried a kick that Iran caught, swept Gunnar to the floor and tried to soccer kick him in the head while he was getting up. The referee gave Iran a warning and he apologized for the mistake. After that it was all Gunnar throwing bombs at Iran and getting great support from his many Icelandic supporters that came to Denmark to watch the fight. Finally Gunnar bombed Iran with some great combinations and knocked him out in the corner with a beautiful overhand right 3 min 22 sec into the round. Certainly at great win for the 20 year old Icelandic fighter against the much more experienced 30 year old Iran whose record was 13-3 before the fight. Gunnar is still undefeated in his MMA career. Video of the fight...
Gunnar fighting Iran Mascarenhas in September
August 11, 2008: Gunnar will be fighting the experienced Brazilian Iran Mascarenhas at the Adrenaline 3: Evolution in Copenhagen on September 6th. Iran is a solid black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu who had his first MMA fight ten years ago and according to the Adrenaline Sports website he’s the most experienced fighter of the entire Adrenaline 3 fight card. He has been fighting in almost every single grappling tournament in Scandinavia since he moved to Denmark some years ago and won many medals (including the gold on Scandinavian BJJ Open few years ago). Iran’s last MMA pro fight was two years ago against the extremely strong Swedish fighter Thomas Valentin. Although Iran fought a great fight and was dominating the fight, he was taken by surprise by a strong kimura and was forced to submit to the Swede. Since then, Iran has focused on his grappling but now it is time for his long awaited come back on the MMA scene. Iran who is 30 years old has been living and teaching in Copenhagen for some years now and has his own competition team in Denmark, the Mascarenhas team. So even though he’s Brazilian, Copenhagen is his home ground now and he will without a doubt be getting a lot of support by his students and co-trainers. Iran say’s that he is training very hard for this fight and preparing himself well for his new enter into the MMA world (here is a video of Iran talking about the upcoming fight against Gunnar). Gunnar is also ready and training hard. He is now in Manchester preparing with Karl Tanswell in SBG UK for this fight and aiming for a victory as always.
June 30, 2008: Renzo Gracie honored Iceland and the club Mjolnir with a visit earlier this month. Friday night (June 27) there was an interview with him and Gunnar about BJJ on the news of Station 2 in the Icelandic TV. Gracie spoke highly of Gunnar and his potentials and of others at the club also. Some of this interview is in Icelandic (Gunnar's part) but those that want to hear Renzo (in the beginning, middle and the end) will just have to live with that. The interview is about 3-4 minutes.
Gunnar awarded a brown belt in BJJ
June 28, 2008: Gunnar's tonight grappling fight against Piotr Stawski went the whole 10 minutes and was therefore declared a draw. After the fight Gunnar's trainer, John Kavanagh, announced that Gunnar had been awarded a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Gunnar and "Goliath"
June 27, 2008: Gunnar will be competing tomorrow night (June 28th) against a big and powerful opponent, the polish Piotr Stawski. This will be a 10 minute grappling super fight at the Ring of Truth tournament in Dublin, Ireland. The fight is a submission only fight, so there will be no points, only victory by a submission or a draw if the fight goes the 10 minute distance. The polish grappler and former judo fighter has about 30kg weight advantage over Gunnar and has powered his way through the Irish BJJ and Submission Wrestling competition scene, winning the gold both in Gi and No-Gi at the Irish Munster BJJ open. Two weeks ago (June 14th) Stawski won the Irish National Submission Championships 2008. He runs a BJJ club in Ireland and is very athletic, as seen in this exhibition video (Stawski in black). This will likely be a very hard fight for Gunnar, giving up a great weight advantage against this vastly strong, fast and explosive opponent.
June 5, 2008: Gunnar arrived home from Hawaii yesterday morning after spending 3 months training with BJ Penn and his fight team in Hilo. Gunnar said his stay there was fantastic, both the training and the time there in general. “I got to train with high level fighters that really know how to work as a team and help each other’s out so the team can be better, and that creates a vibe that you want to be part of, and it helped me get to the next level of my training. When I was not training I was enjoying the beautiful Hawaii, going to the beach, jumping cliffs, climbing coco trees and having the time of my life!” says Gunnar who emphasis he can’t thank BJ Penn, his family and everyone involved in his gym enough for their help and hospitality. “If you want to combine top level fight training with a fantastic time and learn a lifetime of knowledge, Hilo is the place.”
Gunnar takes the gold at the Hawaiian Open
June 2, 2008: Gunnar participated in Hawaiian Open Championship of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu last night and won 1st place in the middle weight advance No-Gi category. Gunnar is now heading home to Iceland after spending 3 months training with BJ Penn and his fight team in Hilo, Hawaii. He'll then be going to Ireland in two weeks and staying there and in England for a month or so training with John Kavanagh and Karl Tanswell.
Gunnar is in Hawaii
Mar 14, 2008: Gunnar has arrived to Hilo in Hawaii and will be there for the next 2-3 months training with BJ Penn and his fight team. As most MMA fans know BJ is now preparing for his UFC World title defense against Sean Sherk but the fight will take place at UFC 84 in Las Vegas, May the 24th. This is of course a great opportunity for Gunnar to train among many of the very best MMA fighters in the world today.
Interview with Gunnar on national TV
Feb 5, 2008: There was a very good interview with Gunnar about his training and MMA on RÚV - The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service last night. Gunnar discussed his MMA and BJJ training and the great rising of those sports worldwide.
Gunnar in Fighters Only Magazine
Jan 27, 2008: The newest issue of Fighter Only Magazine (February) includes a very good interview with Gunnar in the article Wanderlust (p. 53). There is also a review (p. 78) about Gunnar’s victory over Barry Mairs where it says about Gunnar’s performance “At 19 years of age, his clinical dismantling of game opponent Barry Mairs showed a maturity beyond his years. With excellent positioning and balance, he used a devastatingly precise ground 'n pound game to put his opponent to sleep midway through the first round.”
We also strongly recommend the editors, Hywel's Teague, article “Prodigies” (p. 26). Here is a glimpse from that article: “I've spent time with a fighter I consider to be a true prodigy. I'm hesitant to give his name in case I place a curse on this young professional, but at only 19 years old, I believe him to be the real deal.
Watching him fight is like watching a Hindu cow stroll through the streets of New Delhi he is so calm. He has two years of training in mixed martial arts (MMA) and BJJ under his belt, yet taps out black belts with years of experience. When he isn't training, he is thinking about training, running through moves in his head and playing out strategies. He eats, breathes and lives MMA.
This young fighter also trains with the best to become the best, and soaks information up like a sponge, another characteristic of a prodigy. BJ Penn famously asked Frank Shamrock to teach him one thing a day, he was that quick at picking things up. Able to assimilate knowledge at a breakneck pace, once he was shown how to do something it would be part of his game forever, a remarkable thing for a fighter to do.”
Gunnar offered to fight for the Adrenaline Sports title in Copenhagen, Denmark
Jan 20, 2008: Gunnar had been offered a possible title fight in Adrenaline Sports - Rise of the Champions tournament in Copenhagen, Denmark, in April. Unfortunately he is not able to accept this offer because it doesn't fit in his training plan, but Gunnar will presumably be in Hawaii in March-May training with the UFC World Champion, B. J. Penn's, fight team.
For our Icelandic readers here is an article about this on the Icelandic news site, VISIR.
Pictures and slide show video of Gunnar's victory over Barry Mairs
Dec 11, 2007: We've got some pictures and a slide show video of Gunnar's victory over Barry Mairs.
Gunnar takes Barry Mairs out with a 1st round KO!
Dec 9, 2007: Gunnar just defeated the British Commando, Barry Mairs, with a 1st round KO at Angrrr Management: Get ready for WAR event in Weston Super Mare, England. Barry Mairs was coming from a 1st round KO win at his last fight but Gunnar took him to the ground early in the 1st round and finished the fight with some great Ground and Pound that knocked Mairs out 3:38 minutes into the round. Great victory and Gunnar will now be heading home to Iceland for the Holidays. More pictures coming soon.
Gunnar defeats Niek Tromp in less than two minutes
Nov 24, 2007: Tonight Gunnar def. Niek Tromp (Team Duncan - Holland) by submission due to strikes in the 1st round (1 min 50 sec) at Cage of Truth: Battle on the Bay at Donahgmede in Dublin, Ireland. Tromp had 15 victories under his belt before this fight and only two losses, both by decision. But that didn't make any difference tonight when he met the Icelander who surprised the Dutchman with his great ground skills and won the fight in less than two minutes. Another fighters trainer later commentated that “Gunnar showed some incredible GnP ability. It was like watching a shotgun reloading each time- click click-boom, I've never been on bottom getting hit that accurately... and I have no desire to do so in the future!” See here...
Double victory for Gunnar at the Irish BJJ Open
Oct 20, 2007: Gunnar participated in the Irish BJJ Open and took the gold, both in his weight class and in the absolute class. Icelandic BJJ fighters have join in the Irish BJJ Open before but never won a medal, let alone double gold medal! Gunnar won two of his bouts with an Armbar submission, one with a Side Choke and the rest on points.
Gunnar wins again in the 1st round
Oct 6, 2007: Gunnar def. Adam Slawinski (Baltic Fighters - Poland) by TKO in the 1st round (2 min 30 sec) at UFR10: Tribal Warfare in Galway, Ireland. Slawinski who was at the top of the Irish MMA League never had a change against Gunnar who took back mount in the beginning of the first round and punish the Polish fighter until the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight two minutes later. See here...
Gunnar takes Driss El Bakara out in the 1st round
Sep 29, 2007: Gunnar def. Driss El Bakara (French Top Team - France) by armbar submission in the 1st round (3 min 46 sec) at Cage Rage Contenders: Dynamite at the National Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. Bakara had just come of a good 2nd round win at CR - Contenders 5 where he won by RNC. But the Frenchman had no answer to Gunnar's great ground game. Gunnar landed a takedown off a jab straight away in the beginning of the round. He then secured mount and landed some great strikes. Securing an arm, he pounded his opponent before finishing with an armbar. Driss momentarily lost consciousness from Gunnar’s strikes, before being woken up by the armbar – this has since been christened the “alarmbar”. A commentator on the Ring of Truth website said that Gunnar “looked amazingly zen-like and composed. It was one of those situations where he looked so relaxed it was like he was just training in the gym, methodically getting mount and then calmly timing his strikes. He threw less from top than anyone else on the night, but he landed everything and you could hear the impact.” See here...