Having lost the first fight of his career his last time out, Iceland’s Gunnar Nelson will get the chance to rebound on what could turn out to be one of the biggest UFC fight cards of the year.
Nelson will face Englishman John Hathaway at UFC 189: Aldo vs. McGregor on July 11 in Las Vegas. UFC officials announced the bout on Wednesday.
Nelson (13-1-1) narrowly suffered the first defeat of his career in October, losing a split decision to Rick Story. He had been rocketing up the welterweight ranks, winning his first four fights in the Octagon, and Nelson will be looking to quickly re-establish himself with a win over Hathaway.
The fight will mark the Icelander’s American debut.
Having been fighting for the UFC since 2009, Hathaway (17-2), much like Nelson, is looking to rebound from defeat and regain his contender status. He is coming off of a stunning spinning-elbow-knockout loss to Dong Hyun Kim last March, which dropped his UFC record to 7-2.
Although the UFC 189 fight card has been slow to develop, the reason could be the emphasis UFC matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby are putting on building a stunning finisher for the UFC’s International Fight Week in Las Vegas.
UFC 189 is headlined by featherweight champion Jose Also putting his belt on the line against Conor McGregor, followed closely by Robbie Lawler putting his welterweight championship up against Rory MacDonald, and also features a pivotal featherweight fight between Dennis Bermudez and Jeremy Stephens.