Gunnar Nelson has a karate stance at the beginning of the fight, bouncing back and forth and dodging the majority of Santiago’s strikes. However, Santiago still gets the best of the strikes in the early stages of this round. Nelson bides his time before shooting for a beautiful double leg takedown, landing a few strikes on the ground before Santiago is able to get back up and strike with him again. Santiago lands the better strikes, but Nelson seems completely unfazed at the end of the first round.
The second round starts out relatively similar; however Nelson decides that he wants to stand and trade with Santiago, staying in the pocket and then taking him down to the ground before he passes Santiago’s guard. From half guard Nelson lands some nasty looking elbow strikes, before Santiago is able pull him back into full guard. Gunnar is totally in control of the fight whilst on top, moving into mount and picking his elbow strikes carefully.
Gunnar in control once again, but even more so in the stand-up, picking apart Santiago with a mixture of kicks and punches to the body and head. Santiago is swinging wildly, but Nelson is calm in the heat of battle picking his shots on the feet. He rocks the Brazilian with two fantastic uppercuts against the cage that leave him with wobbly legs. Santiago leaves it all at the end connecting with right and left hooks and even rocked Nelson at the end of the fight; however Nelson was saved by the bell.
Gunnar Nelson wins via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)