Gunnar Nelson vs. Alex Oliveira set for UFC 231

UFC 231, which takes place at the Scotiabank Arena on Saturday, December 8th, received a boost in quality today as the UFC officially announced that Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira will face off against Gunnar Nelson, a fight first reported by ESPN.

Oliveira vs. Nelson is the second fight announced this week for the Toronto card that sees two top-15 ranked fighters square off following the announcement of Renato Moicano vs. Mirsad Bektić, a featherweight fight which provides a backup option should either side of the main event fighters be ruled out of competition.

Nelson returns to the Octagon for the first time since July 2017, when he suffered a first-round KO loss to Santiago Ponzinibbio in Glasgow. Following the event in Scotland, Nelson and his team expressed their malcontent with what they deemed to be ‘blatant eye pokes’ which ‘were a major factor in the stoppage’, in a statement released by Nelson’s management team.

Following the UFC’s rejection of Nelson’s appeal to overturn the decision to a non-contest, Nelson was booked against Neil Magny in the co-main event of UFC Liverpool, however there was more bad news for the Icelandic welterweight as Nelson was ruled out of competition due to a knee injury. The SBG fighter insists he has been ‘fighting fit for a while’ as he waited for his next assignment, in a tweet published by ‘Gunni’ this evening.

That next assignment is no easy task and presents itself in the form of the 5’11” Brazilian fighter, Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira. Since suffering defeat to Yancy Medeiros at UFC 218, Oliveira has notched back-to-back stoppage victories in 2018, submitting Carlos Condit with a guillotine choke, and finishing Carlo Pedersoli Jr. in just 39 seconds via TKO.

Both fighters will be looking to break into the top-10 of the UFC Welterweight division with a victory in what is a big fight for both competitors at this stage of their respective careers.