UFC 286 results: Gunnar Nelson dominates on the mat, taps Bryan Barberena with armbar late in Round 1
After a year away from the octagon, UFC welterweight Gunnar Nelson returned to remind everyone of his elite grappling skills.
On the main card of UFC 286, Nelson (19-5-1 MMA, 10-5 UFC) stepped into the cage at The O2 in London to face Bryan Barberena (18-10 MMA, 9-8 UFC). It was a near-flawless performance for Nelson, who secured victory at 4:51 of the first round by way of a beautiful armbar.
Nelson’s wide-based karate stance caused Barberena to be a little hesitant to engage early in the fight, but landed a few solid leg kicks. When Nelson saw his opening to close the distance, he got into the clinch and took the fight to the ground.
From there, it was a clinic on the mat.
Nelson threatened a number of submissions including a straight armlock, an Americana, a kimura, and arm triangle choke – all while slowly transitioning into full mount.
After sneaking in a few short elbows in dominant position, Nelson committed to an armbar as time was running short in the round. The submission was locked in and it didn’t take long for Barberena to tap.
Nelson entered Saturday’s contest a year removed from a unanimous decision win over Takashi Sato. Eight of Nelson’s 10 victories in the UFC have come by submission.
Barberena drops his second straight by submission. In his previous outing in December, former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos submitted Barberena with a rear-naked choke. That loss snapped a three-fight win streak for “Bam Bam.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 286.