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22nd Oct 2016

UFC Belfast loses main event as Gunnar Nelson suffers injury

How unfortunate.

Darragh Murphy

What the hell do Irish fans have to do to get a main event?

The scheduled welterweight main event of UFC Belfast involving Straight Blast Gym 170lber Gunnar Nelson and Dong Hyun Kim has been pulled from the card due to an injury to Nelson.

MMA Fighting reporter Ariel Helwani first broke the news that the Icelandic fighter was forced to pull out of the event, although the extent of his injury is not yet clear.

He also reported that the organisation was looking at a potential middleweight rematch between Gegard Mousasi, who recently beat Vitor Belfort via TKO, and Uriah Hall.

That fight has since been confirmed by MMA Fighting.

Hall stopped Mousasi’s momentum dead in its tracks last year with a come-from-behind finish and fresh from Mousasi’s UFC 204 victory, ‘The Dreamcatcher’ mentioned Hall’s name in the conversation about which opponent would make most sense for him next.

Although he hails from Iceland, Nelson trains alongside Conor McGregor and co in Dublin’s SBG. And fight fans from the Emerald Isle will be getting far too familiar with the feeling of high-profile bouts being dropped from events as last October’s UFC show in Dublin saw the main card decimated due to injuries.

Donegal headliner Joe Duffy sustained a concussion in the final week of training which meant that he would be unable to meet Dustin Poirier in the scheduled main event.

And a heavyweight match-up between Stipe Miocic and Ben Rothwell was expected to act as co-main event on the evening but an injury to Miocic – who has since gone on to become the UFC heavyweight champion – meant that bout was off and Paddy Holohan vs. Louis Smolka became the new headliner.

Nelson’s withdrawal from UFC Belfast, which takes place on November 19, reduces the Irish interest in the card somewhat, with now Neil Seery and Artem Lobov the only Ireland-based fighters remaining.

Let’s all just keep our fingers crossed that Mousasi and Hall manage to stay healthy for the next three weeks.

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