UFC on Fuel 7 Results: What We Learned from Gunnar Nelson vs. Jorge Santiago

Craig AmosFeatured ColumnistFebruary 16, 2013

Photo by bloodyelbow.com
Photo by bloodyelbow.com

As part of the UFC on Fuel TV 7 main card, welterweight up-and-comer Gunnar Nelson took on a journeyman of the sport, Jorge Santiago, who made the drop from middleweight.

The oft-praised Icelandic star continued his ascension up the MMA ranks, scoring a unanimous-decision victory. Nelson was able to avoid Santiago's attacks on the feet for the most part and used his superior wrestling and ground control to earn the nod.


What we'll remember about this fight

To date, Santiago ranks as the top name on Nelson's growing hit list. So until he makes deeper inroads in the UFC's welterweight division, we'll recognize Nelson vs. Santiago as "Gunni's" signature win.


What we learned about Gunnar Nelson

He's a nightmare on the mat. Santiago is an accomplished grappler, but he had no answer for Nelson's superb control.

Nelson is not helpless on the feet, but he ate several shots throughout the match. In fact, he took a big punch at the end of the fight that might have spelled trouble if 10 more seconds had been on the clock.

He needs to tighten up his striking defense as he continues to develop.


What we learned about Jorge Santiago

A new division yet the same old story for Santiago, who continues to struggle inside the Octagon. He has always found success in other promotions but has just never been able to produce in the UFC.

Santiago didn't look terrible, but nothing in his performance suggests he's reached a new level. I suppose that means the move to welterweight isn't likely to put the Brazilian over the top.


What's next for Nelson

It might be a bit soon, but I'd like to see him matched up with Jon Fitch.


What's next for Santiago

Either a third pink slip from the UFC or an undercard fight. If it's the latter, then how about Mike Swick?