Gunnar NelsonPrior to each UFC fight card, Jay Primetown takes a look at some of the key contests at each event. In the latest installment, we look at the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 107 as Alan Jouban takes on Gunnar Nelson. Alan Jouban (Record: 15-4, +290 Underdog, Power Ranking: C) The Lafayette, Louisiana born and Los Angeles-trained fighter enters his ninth fight in the UFC on a three-bout winning streak. He enters his highest-profile fight to date on the back of the biggest win of his a career, a decision win over surging welterweight Mike “Platinum” Perry. The Black House-trained fighter is one of the most entertaining fighters in the UFC. He started training in Muay Thai at the age of 23 before moving into mixed martial arts. With his striking background, it’s no secret that Jouban is an action-first fighter. He likes to press forward and strike with volume. He lands a whopping 5.16 significant strikes per minute and does so in a variety of ways, including kicks and elbows. As he’s willing to strike in the pocket, he will take some damage. His chin is decent, but he is susceptible to being hurt in a prolonged fire fight. Grappling is not his strong suit, as he was taken down by undersized welterweights in two of his last three fights. Furthermore, his takedown defense is only 64 percent overall, so that’s certainly an area of weakness. Gunnar Nelson (Record: 15-2, -350 Favorite, Power Ranking: B) The Icelandic Jiu-Jitsu standout headlines his second career UFC event on Saturday. This is his first bout in 10 months. In his last performance, he dominated Russian Albert Tumenov, submitting him in the second round. Overall, he holds a 6-2 record in the UFC. Nelson is one more the calm and collected fighters in mixed martial arts. He doesn’t strike with a lot of volume (2.02 significant strikes per minute), but when he does he has a high level of accuracy of 57 percent. Nelson has made strides in his striking in recent fights, in particular earning a knockdown against talented striker Albert Tumenov. However, his striking is all built to setup takedowns. Nelson has a very crafty takedown game, and once he’s in top control, he’s one of the best submission artists in the UFC. He’s won five of his six fights in the UFC by submission and is a threat to do so in every one of his fights. Outside of Demian Maia, there’s no fighter in the welterweight division that has a clear submission grappling advantage over Nelson. Matchup As much as Nelson’s striking has improved, he’s not in Jouban’s class in the striking department. Jouban can land on the feet, but Nelson has a good chin and shouldn’t be finished by a singular strike. This fight simply comes down to can Nelson get Jouban to the ground. The answer is yes. Jouban hasn’t proven he can completely nullify takedown attempts even against inferior and undersized opponents. Nelson secures 64 percent of his takedown attempts and should be able to latch one up in this bout. Once Nelson has Jouban nullified on the ground, he should be able to advance position and secure a choke to earn the win. Nelson by submission (+250) is a bet that I recommend for this bout given his ability to get opponents to the mat and dominate. It’s the most likely result of this fight.


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