Joe Silva has put together another gem, as welterweight prospects with growing bandwagons Ryan LaFlare and Gunnar Nelson will square off on July 19 at UFC Fight Night in Dublin, Ireland. The card marks the first time that the UFC hold an event in the city (and country) since UFC 93 in January 2009, but the promotion has grown gargantuanly since then. Ireland’s biggest star Conor McGregor is expected to headline the card, but details on a potential fight are some way away.
Both LaFlare and Nelson have some serious hype surrounding them, with both brandished the ‘future champion’ title. Their recent runs inside the Octagon have earned them places in the top 15 of the welterweight division, with LaFlare holding the #15 place and Nelson in at #13. A win for either fighter could propel them into the top 10, with a possible run at the title viable in the next year or two.
Ryan LaFlare is a name that may not resonate with the casual fan, but will be one to make a note of. Though all of LaFlare’s wins inside the Octagon have come by way of decision, his 4-0 run has been nothing short of impressive and his most recent win over John Howard at the UFC’s return to Abu Dhabi was one that opened the eyes of many. LaFlare showed his wrestling pedigree, solid striking base and good recovery as he put on the most impressive performance of his career, and that win put his streak to four in a row in a wide open division.
Gunnar Nelson has also received growing attention since making an impressive UFC debut back in September 2012. After winning twice in a row inside the Octagon, injury setbacks meant fans had to wait over a year for Nelson to make his return, but he did so in style by dominating Omari Akhmedov and defeating the Russian fighter via first round submission. Known for his world class Brazilian jiu-jitsu and karate, Nelson has the ability to finish the fight wherever it takes place.
Both LaFlare and Nelson are undefeated professionally and have impressive streaks inside the Octagon, making this one of the biggest match-ups in the division this year.