Gunnar Nelson chokes out DaMarques Johnson at UFC on FUEL 5 in England. - Martin McNeil, SB Nation
An injury to Justin Edwards has forced him out of his February 16th fight with Icelandic prospect Gunnar Nelson. Replacing him is Jorge Santiago, making this his 3rd separate stint in the UFC.
Now that the injury bug has successfully wiped out anybody who wanted to fight Michael Kuiper, it has set it sights on the upcoming UFC show in London. Welterweight Justin Edwards is out of a scheduled main card fight against Gunnar Nelson with an undisclosed injury, but the replacement for Edwards is a familiar name to MMA fans. Via UFC UK twitter:
Nelson is an intriguing prospect out of Iceland with an undefeated record of 10-0-1. He debuted in September in Nottingham, England against DaMarques Johnson at a 175 lbs catchweight (which Johnson missed by 8 lbs), submitting the TUF 9 runner-up with a rear-naked choke. That win marked his 5th straight win by submission, and 7th overall.
Santiago is an 11 year veteran of the sport who has twice been in the UFC only to be subsequently released. His sole UFC win in 5 fights -- all at middleweight -- is a KO over the late Justin Levens back in 2006. Santiago's success outside the UFC has been completely different, having won the Sengoku Middleweight title and successfully defending it 2 times. He's best known for twice defeating Kazuo Misaki with 5th round finishes. The rematch in particular was regarded as one of the best fights of 2010. Since his 2nd UFC release, Santiago has gone 2-0 against relative unknowns in Titan Fighting Championships. It should be noted that while Santiago's chin has always been questionable, the BJJ black belt has never been submitted in an MMA fight.
Is the third time the charm for Santiago in the UFC? We shall see. This new booking is definitely an upgrade with all due respect to the recovering Edwards. And it will certainly be Nelson's toughest test yet.
UFC on FUEL 7 is February 16th in London, England, and features a title fight between interim BW champ Renan Barao and
MAD TV star former K-1 striker famous singer 22-year-old Michael McDonald in the main event.