The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to us today, March 19, 2022, for UFC Fight Night 204, going down live from the O2 Arena in London, England.
Headlining the event is a heavyweight clash between former M-1 & Bellator champion Alexander Volkov (No. 6) and rising contender Tom Aspinall (No. 11).
Co-headlining the event is Dan Hooker’s return to the featherweight division, as he takes on No. 7 ranked Arnold Allen.
After a bout with Claudio Silva was scratched, Gunnar Nelson takes on Takashi Sato as Silva’s replacement in a welterweight contest.
Nelson is looking to get back in the win column, on the heels of a two-fight losing skid. Nelson has had a longer layoff than the SBG prodigy is used to, last seeing the Octagon when he dropped a decision to the hands of Gilbert Burns. Although the blackbelt is always a threat, he’s in desperate need of a win, with his last successful outing taking place in 2018 when he took out Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira in the second round.
Sato is also looking to bounce back into the win column, after a lengthy layoff. With his last performance seeing him getting stopped by Miguel Baeza in 2020. Sato steps in on short notice to face Nelson, entering this bout as a heavy underdog. However, never to be counted out, Sato always proves to be dangerous, finishing 13 of his 16 wins via stoppage.
Round 1: Both fighters spend the first minute as a feeling-out process. Sato opens up first with a head kick followed by a jab. Nelson returns the favor with his own kick. Both men are tentative to commit, picking their shots wisely. Sato is controlling the Octagon with Nelson blitzing forward at moments, but playing defense, going backward until he finds his moment. Nelson finds an opening and drags Sato to the ground with a little over a minute and a half left. Nelson secures a body triangle and looks for Sato’s neck while he picks away with thudding shots from Sato’s back until the bell sounds.
MyMMANews scores round 1 for Gunnar Nelson. 10-9
Round 2: Sato gets to work early with his jab, backing Nelson toward the fence. Nelson leads with his right hand, cracking Sato several times, homing in on his karate base. Sato looks to keep control of the cage moving forward but is met with a straight right, forcing him to take a back step. Nelson successfully blasts double leg takedown. Nelson advances to Sato’s back, once again while hammering punches while searching for a submission opening until the bell sounds.
MyMMANews scores round 2 for Gunnar Nelson. 10-9
Round 3: Both fighters open up their striking in the beginning moments of the third round, with Sato seemingly knowing he’s down on the cards. Nelson meets him in the scuffle to exchange when Sato advances until Nelson finds his moment and scores another takedown and locking in the body triangle with over 3 minutes left in the round. Nelson winds up to target his strikes while searching for Sato’s neck. Nelson isn’t able to secure the submission, but continues his onslaught, riding Sato’s back and landing thudding strikes from behind until the final bell sounds.
MyMMANews scores round 3 for Gunnar Nelson. 10-8
Official result: Gunnar Nelson defeats Takashi Sato via Unanimous Decision (30-26), (30-26), (30-26)
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Currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Wilmington University, Adam’s passion for the sport only grows stronger when a fighter’s voice can be heard. He thrives on asking detailed questions to inspire the thoughts behind the punches in hopes that each fighter can find their proper justice. Specializing in pre and post fight interviews for MyMMANews, Adam strives to keep the fight fans up to speed with the most recent and authentic MMA news possible.
He is Co-promoter of Delaware’s premier kick-boxing and Muay Thai organization, IBF Promotions. Recently he has also accompanied MMA organizations Global Proving Ground and XCC as Co-host and ringside commentator.