September 24, 2023
UFC 286 star Gunnar Nelson: Training partner Conor McGregor to destroy Michael Chandler in return fight

Conor McGregor will demolish Michael Chandler in his predicted comeback fight later on this year, as extended as he prepares thoroughly, claims one particular of the previous two-weight UFC champion’s teammates and teaching partners.

Much more than 20 months following suffering a shuddering leg crack in a second successive defeat to Dustin Poirier, McGregor remains the most higher-profile title in MMA and is envisioned to return from Chandler throughout the 2nd half of 2023. The two just completed taping the most up-to-date period of The Final Fighter. 

“If Conor trains properly and is in shape, he’ll kick the s— out of him,” Gunnar Nelson informed The Sporting News. Nelson has held in contact with McGregor and thinks the Irishman could encounter previous Bellator champion Chandler at gentle heavyweight.

Nelson faces Bryan Barbarena at UFC 286 on March 18, headlined by Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman 3 for the UFC welterweight title. 

A lot more: Indication up to check out the UFC 286 PPV, completely on ESPN+

“He is carrying out Conor stuff,” Nelson stated. “He is looking major he is on the lookout extremely huge, so I wouldn’t be shocked [at a light heavyweight fight]. We talk each and every now and then. Not much too considerably, but just Instagram and things.”

Colourful Icelander Nelson has experienced his possess octagon exile, likely far more than two many years with out preventing pursuing his defeat to Gilbert Burns in September 2019, right before returning victoriously against Takashi Sato in March 2022.

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and a 2009 Pan American Online games gold medalist has grow to be acknowledged for showing up in pop movies dancing to chart hits at his Mjolnir gym in Reykjavik, wherever he has provided his very own spin on tunes, like Sia’s ‘Chandelier’, Eric Prydz’s ‘Call on Me,’ and Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’.

“We ended up intended to do a person past 12 months,” he rued. “These Covid many years just f—— everything up, didn’t they? I know there was one particular we planned, scheduled and have not done still, so there really should be a person coming up quickly. I can’t notify you which song.”

Far more: Conor McGregor’s upcoming struggle: Opponent, Ultimate Fighter position

In the meantime, Nelson has grow to be infatuated with golfing, heading to Barcelona to play a sport he finds harder than fighting.

“I received down to 15 handicap, which is not bad,” he said. “Golf is super, tremendous really hard. In several means, golf is a ton more challenging than MMA. You can be so excellent and then, the following f—— shot, you happen to be the worst participant in the planet. It’s mental as very well, for the reason that you will go psychological if you will not continue to keep it alongside one another.”

Nelson’s opponent at UFC 286, Barberena, is also not shy of producing a display of himself, showing up for his pre-battle media obligations in minimal extra than a pair of blue dungarees and sandals. Barbarena is 3-1 in his past 4 fights, but is coming off a reduction versus Rafael dos Anjos in December. 

More: All you will need to know about UFC 286: Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman 3

The southpaw is “interesting” and is “not likely to try to acquire on factors”, states Nelson, who has been teaching in McGregor’s house town of Dublin with Bellator welterweight winner Yaroslav Amosov.

“He is a terrific dude,” Nelson reported of Ukrainian-born Amosov. “He isn’t going to discuss much English so it was a little little bit hard to link, in some methods. But we managed, and we experienced a good little bit collectively. He’s a phenomenal wrestler with a wonderful teaching vibe. He’s a wonderful education partner and super, super great, so it was great.”