Conor McGregor dealt with his second loss in the UFC in early October when he tapped to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s face crank in the fourth-round of their fight at UFC 229. One common fixture in his camp who was not present at the time was Gunnar Nelson, who was nursing a knee injury.
Nelson, who holds a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Renzo Gracie, admitted that it was not easy for him to see his training partner get dominated in such a manner, especially since he was not able to be of help at all.
“It was very unfortunate. Obviously, I couldn’t join the camp because of my knee,” Nelson told reporters during a UFC 231 pre-fight scrum. “I could’ve maybe done some right at the end, but he had everything planned out and he had his guys there.
“But it was a little bit difficult to see, and I think for the next one – and I believe there will be another one at some point – I’ll be there in his camp, for sure.”
Ultimately, Nelson is confident that “The Notorious” and the rest of the team will be able to make the necessary adjustments in the possible rematch.
“Yeah, definitely. I’m sure he can, as well. And John (Kavanagh), obviously our coach. I think there was a bit too much chase in this fight.
“You don’t want to sit in his world, and guys tend to do that a little bit,” Nelson said of Khabib. “We saw Al Iaquinta; he did actually pretty well, I thought. He was able to tweak his strategy a little bit and he did well. But guys seem to get caught in his world.”
Nelson will be part of Saturday’s UFC 231 card in Toronto, where he faces Alex Oliveira.