Gunnar Nelson & Cathal Pendred Fight This Saturday!
Straight Blast Gym Ireland’s Nelson & Pendred Fight at UFC Fight Night Stockholm
We have only had a handful of days to recover from the excitement of last weekend’s UFC 178 action, with Straight Blast Gym’s Conor McGregor dominating proceeding before, during and after his fight, picking up a Performance of the Night bonus in the process. However, the UFC takeover by SBG Ireland is unrelenting, and there is no time to dwell on just one victory. This Saturday at UFC Fight Night Stockholm, Straight Blast Gym’s Gunnar Nelson headlines the event against Rick Story, while Cathal Pendred makes his sophomore appearance for the organization against Gasan Umalatov.
Last weekend’s win by McGregor means SBG Ireland’s current crop of UFC fighters remain undefeated in the Octagon in a total of ten fights (8 of those wins by stoppage). The win streak has seen Fight and Performance of the Night bonuses head back to Dublin on numerous occasions. Gunnar Nelson and Cathal Pendred will look to extend this run come Saturday in Sweden.
Quiet and introspective, Gunnar Nelson has, nonetheless, been making a name for himself in the UFC welterweight division. Undefeated in fourteen fights (four in the UFC), with nine submissions, three knock outs and only one of those wins going down to a decision, a relentless consistency has left him within reach of a title shot. Nelson sees himself as being two fights away from a championship bout:
“…I’d say if I win this one and the next one, the way I picture it, the third one will be a title shot.”
In the mean time, Nelson doesn’t see Saturday night’s opponent, Rick Story, as any major threat to his steady progression:
“I think this fight is not going to be too long… When I go in there, I’ll get the feel for it and do whatever I need to do. But I can definitely picture this fight being very quick.”
Cathal Pendred’s UFC debut came at the historic UFC Fight Night Dublin, in which all four of SBG Ireland’s competitors left the arena victorious. None achieved their win in more dramatic a way than Pendred against Mike King. Cathal Pendred’s second round come back saw him bring home the Fight of the Night bonus on his debut, which soon doubled in size upon the revelation that his opponent tested positive for PEDs (Pendred donated a portion to charity). There is no doubt that the bonus was hard-earned. Cathal Pendred displayed a level of heart and determination beyond most fighters to finish his fight via RNC, after a first round that may have been stopped, had Pendred not worked so hard to keep improving his position despite the onslaught. Straight Blast Gym Ireland Head Coach John Kavanagh told the debutant he displayed something beyond what could be taught:
“My coach John Kavanagh tells me the two things he can never teach or give his fighters are heart and determination. You either have it or you don’t. And he says I’m very fortunate to have both in abundance.”
On top of his abundant determination and the lessons learnt from his UFC debut, UFC Fight Night Stockholm will see Pendred drop down to welterweight for the first time since before his TUF appearance. It is a combination that will make him a force to be reckoned with in his fight against Umalatov this weekend:
I’m making my UFC debut in MY division. This is where I belong and where my future is. I want to make a statement in this fight that I am a serious contender within the division. And as great as the circumstances were resulting from the type of fight I had in Dublin, I wasn’t happy with the performance. So I want to rectify that in this fight.”
Good luck to Gunnar Nelson, Cathal Pendred and the whole team at Straight Blast Gym Ireland! Once again, have no doubt that the whole SBG tribe will be cheering for you!