Gunnar Nelson Details Injury That Led to UFC Belfast Main Event Cancellation

October 25, 2016

Although news of a Gegard Mousasi vs. Uriah Hall rematch replacing Dong Hyun Kim vs. Gunnar Nelson as the UFC Belfast main event broke late last week, it took until Tuesday for UFC officials to finally confirm the move.

The replacement was necessary after Nelson suffered a training injury that forced him out of the headlining bout. Shortly after the UFC confirmed the change, Nelson posted on Instagram, detailing the incident that forced him out of the Nov. 19 fight.

“I want to begin with saying I’m very sorry to all my fans, sponsors, friends and (Kim) that I’m pulling out of this fight in Belfast,” Nelson wrote.

Gunnar Nelson“I was so much looking forward to fighting again in Ireland and now it’s not happening because of a stupid ankle twist that ironically happened in a UFC open work out! It happened at 1:08min into the video that was live on facebook for those who want to see it. It’s still up, I think.

“Right away I wasn’t sure how serious it was, so I kept face and rolled a little on, but told my training partner Kenny Baker about it during and he knew all about it he said because he felt the massive click when it happened. I was forced to stop within minutes because I realized it was bad.”

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Nelson tried to give the ankle a little time to heal, but it didn’t respond as well as he had hoped it would.

“For a few weeks, I was doing everything that I could to get better, so I would be able to return to proper training again, but that next step of being able to bounce, move in and out, and grapple just would not happen,” he recounted.

“I kept doing everything I could, which was mostly rowing, swimming, and bits here and there, thinking I would get there. A week ago, my trainers told me and I was starting to realize that this was gonna take more time and I could not go into this fight with one ankle and not really any martial art training at all.”

It was at that point that the UFC shifted its focus to a new main event, eventually securing the rematch between Mousasi and Hall, which now headlines UFC Fight Night 99 at SSE Arena on Nov. 19 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Nelson, however, is continuing to work toward his return to the Octagon.

“I will be back soon, better then ever. Thank you all for all the support.”

I want begin with saying im very sorry to all my fans, sponsors, friends and StunGun that im pulling out of this fight in Belfast. I was so much looking forward to fighting again in Ireland and now its not happening because of a stupid ankle twist that ironacly happend in a UFC open work out!! It happend at 1:08min into the video that was live on facebook for those who want to see it, its still up i think. Right away i wasnt sure how serious it was so i kept face and rolled a little on but told my training partner Kenny Baker about it during and he knew all about it he said because he felt the massive click when it happend. I was forced to stop within minutes because i relised it was bad. For a few days i was not able to put any weight on the leg and thought i had to pull out and felt devastated but then within 10 days i got to a state where i could walk normaly without much pain so i thought again that i was gonna fight and felt great. For a few weeks i was doing everything that i could to get better so i would be able to return to proper training again but that next step of being able to bounce, move in and out and grapple just would not happend. I kept doing everything i could wich was mostly rowing, swimming and bits here and there thinking i would get there. A week ago my trainers told me and i was starting to relise that this was gonna take more time and i could not go into this fight with one ankle and not realy any martial art training at all 🙁 Again i am so sorry for this but to all who already booked their tickets and travels and all the fans that were looking forward to this fight like I was. I will be back soon better then ever. Thank you all for all the support and I’m sorry for any inconvenience. Photo: @michaelquiet

A photo posted by Gunnar Nelson (@gunninelson) on

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