Just a few weeks ago, MMA especially welterweight division fans were excited for a lot of welterweight showdowns in the upcoming events. However, the MMA gods seem to be cursing those match ups.
The first blow was at UFC on Fox 29 when the co-main event between former UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit and UFC veteran Matt Brown was scrapped. Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira stepped in on short notice and luckily gave us an equally entertaining fight finishing Condit via guillotine in the second round.
A few days back, another pivotal fight was scrapped as the Fight Night Chile main event between #10 ranked Santiago Ponzinibbio and #7 ranked Kamaru Usman was scrapped due to Ponzinibbio pulling out of the fight due to an injury. Again luckily he is replaced by #5 ranked former middleweight and welterweight title challenger Demian Maia to give us a solid replacement.
This time however a third blow has struck as the co-main event for Liverpool card between #9 ranked Neil Magny and #13 ranked Gunnar Nelson is scrapped due to Nelson pulling out of the fight due to a knee injury that might require surgery.
Nelson has a history of pulling out and is an injury susceptible fighter. This is the third time Nelson has pulled out of the fight. Nelson was expected to face Mike Pyle on May 25, 2013 at UFC 160. However, Nelson pulled out of the bout citing an injury and was replaced by Rick Story. Nelson was expected to face Dong Hyun Kim on November 19, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 99 in Belfast, Ireland. However, on October 21, it was announced that Gunnar had pulled out due to an injury and the fight was off. (via Twitter):
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) April 28, 2018
This leaves Neil Magny and the UFC match makers in spot of bother as not many ranked fighters are available. Out of the top 15 fighters, the only fighters who are not booked and haven’t fought in a long time are Robbie Lawler, Jorge Masvidal and Dong Hyun Kim. However, Lawler is recovering from a knee injury. Masvidal when called out by Till on this particular card on a main event spot said that he’ll only be free in June. Hence UFC can have Kim or any other unranked welterweight as a replacement.
The European fans would certainly be sad not being able to watch highly regarded European prospect in Nelson. However the main event features their own scouser #7 ranked Darren Till take on former two-time title challenger #1 ranked Stephen Thompson.