An injury to Ryan LaFlare has forced him out of his scheduled welterweight showdown against Gunnar Nelson at UFC Fight Night 46. Zak Cummings has gotten the call to square off against the dangerous submission specialist on Jul. 19 in Ireland.
Cummings is fresh off a strong effort against Yan Cabral at Fight Night 40. He wore down the favoured Brazilian and handed Cabral his first career loss via unanimous decision. Cummings put in a determined effort and showcased a well-rounded game in Cincinnati to secure his fourth straight victory. The TUF Season 17 alum is 2-0 inside the Octagon with his other UFC victory coming by submission against Ben Alloway.
Cummings was originally slated to face Kenny Robertson at Fight Night 45 in Atlantic City before the switch was made. He has a 17-3 career record with 13 finishes and has won seven of his last eight fights.
Nelson’s ground skills are amongst the best in the entire promotion. He made a successful return to action after being on the shelf for 13 months by dominating Omari Akhmedov in a Performance of the Night effort at Fight Night 37 in England. Nelson hurt Akhmedov early in the contest with his powerful punches and then closed the show with a submission finish in the opening round.
The no.13 ranked Nelson has an impressive record of 12-0-1 with 11 of those victories by knockout or submission. The 25-year-old Icelandic fighter has been touted as one of the brightest prospects in the welterweight division and has reeled off three-straight wins to begin his UFC career. His unorthodox style produces plenty of power and he possesses superior jiu-jitsu skills.
While the matchup loses some shine in no longer being a battle of undefeated prospects, it’s still a fight involving two competitors on significant runs. It’s definitely a major test for Cummings but he’s proven himself to be a game and skilled battler. Nelson will be looking to inch closer to top-10 territory if he can continue his winning ways.
The Cummings-Nelson contest will serve as the co-main event in Dublin.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports