The UFC's return to Dublin is fast filling out. Among the several bouts announced for the mid-July offering is a bout between newly minted top 15 welterweights Gunnar Nelson and Ryan LaFlare. The bout has tentatively been set as the evening's co-main event. Though the matchup was originally announced on television in Iceland, the UFC has since confirmed the news over Twitter.
For Nelson this feels like another great build up fight for his ascension into top ten status. He's already picked up a quality win over Jorge Santiago, but this would be his first victory over a ranked fighter. LaFlare may not be a big step up from Santiago (he most certainly is from Akhmedov), but that Santiago fight was also very close for Nelson and this should be a good measuring stick to see if Nelson has improved since then.
For LaFlare, a bout against Nelson is a great opportunity for him to prove that he really belongs among the division's best. He's been strong throughout his undefeated UFC run, but has yet to display much in the way of finishing potential and has gotten himself in trouble on the feet more than a few times. Nelson is the kind of fighter who could really take advantage of those opportunites. If LaFlare can get by him, he needs some real consideration as a threat to the best fighters at 170 lbs.
UFC Fight Night Dublin takes place on July 19th, in Dublin Ireland. Here's a look at the card so far.