While Gunnar Nelson's coach, John Kavanagh, wanted the Iceland native to fight Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson in his next bout, the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt will have to settle for the No. 13 ranked Santiago Ponzinibbio.
Pétur Marinó Jónsson of MMA MMA Fréttir announced that Nelson vs. Ponzinibbio would serve as the headlining bout for UFC Fight Night 113 in Glasgow, Scotland, and the official UFC Europe Twitter account confirmed the news on Friday morning.
Here we go!! @GunniNelson vs. @SPonzinibbioMMA is your #UFCGlasgow main event!— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) May 12, 2017
While Ponzinibbio might not have been be the star opponent SBG Ireland was hoping for, the Argentinian is a tough test for 'Gunni' and has proved to be somewhat of a dark horse in the UFC's welterweight division. Ponzinibbio has rattled off four-straight wins and is 6-2 in his last eight fights. The 30-year-old last fought at UFC Fight Night 105 where he beat Nordine Taleb via unanimous decision.
Nelson, 28, lost to grappling phenom Demian Maia in 2015 but rebounded with two submission victories over Albert Tumenov and Alan Jouban. The Karate-based striker cracked the top-ten with his win over Jouban, finishing the Californian with a guillotine choke in the second round.
UFC Fight Night 113, which also features a co-headlining women's strawweight bout between Cynthia Calvillo and Joanne Calderwood, takes place on July 16 at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland.