A welterweight clash between #12 ranked Gunnar Nelson and #15 ranked Rick Story is set to headline the UFC Fight Night 53 card in Sweden, according to a report by Icelandic media outlet Visir. While Nelson is undefeated in his career and has gone 4-0 inside the Octagon, Story has struggled to put together a win streak since 2011. A victory against Gunnar Nelson would do big things for Story, as the Scandinavian favourite is one of the biggest prospects in the division.
The news comes just a day after UFC Tonight reported that a featherweight bout between the returning Chan Sung-Jung and Swedish stand-out Akira Corassani is in the works.
Fresh off a victory over Zak Cummings, his fourth win since joining the UFC ranks, Gunnar Nelson has the opportunity to make a big statement against his highest profile opponent to date. Nelson, a 26 year-old from Iceland, currently trains with Conor McGregor, a fellow UFC fighter expected to do big things in the near future.
Iron sharpens iron, and that showed in the performances of both Nelson and McGregor at UFC Fight Night in Dublin last month. While Nelson was less impressive than his outing against Akhmedov, he took his opportunity when Cummings made a mistake, and handed the 30 year-old his loss in five.
While Rick Story has been inconsistent in his last handful of fights, he showed big improvements in his last bout against highly touted Leonardo Mafra in New Jersey. That fight marked the first bout for Story since moving to The Lab, training with former champion Benson Henderson and respected MMA coach John Crouch.
4-5 in his last nine, when Story has won, he has looked very impressive in the process, and his last four wins have come against fighters currently or formerly ranked in the welterweight division. A win over Gunnar Nelson could put Story in the talk for a spot in the top 10 for the first time since 2011.
UFC Fight Night 53 will be headlined by the clash between Gunnar Nelson and Rick Story on October 4 at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.
Update: The UFC have since confirmed the news via Twitter.
— UFC United Kingdom (@UFC_UK) August 7, 2014