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Gunnar Nelson is a professional Jiu Jitsu and MMA fighter from Iceland. One of the strongest competitors in the European scene, Gunnar became a household name in the grappling circuit after he placed fourth in the ADCC tournament (open weight division) in 2009. Gunnar Nelson has been one of the youngest Europeans to have received a BJJ Black Belt (he was 21 years old) and with only 4 years of training.

Gunnar Nelson in Detail

Nickname: “Gunni” which is short for Gunnar.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Carlos Gracie JrRenzo Gracie > Gunnar Nelson

Main Achievements (BJJ):

  • Pan American Champion (2009 brown)
  • Pan American Nogi Champion (2009 black – weight & absolute)
  • New York Open Champion (2009 brown)
  • World Silver Medallist (2009 brown)
  • Scandinavian Open 2nd Place (2009)

Weight Division (BJJ): Meio Pesado (88kg/194lbs)

Team/Association: Mjölnir – SBG/Renzo Gracie

Gunnar Nelson Biography

Gunnar Nelson was born on the 28th of July 1988 in Iceland. He grew up amongst sports, namely Ice Hockey and football (soccer), though he soon transitioned to Karate (Goju Ryu style). His athleticism and keen eye for detail led him to success in Karate, and by the time he was 16 he had already won 3 national juvenile kumite tournaments and was considered one of the top up and coming “karateka” in the country.

As he grew, he became more interested in MMA, and wanted to follow that career; with this in mind in 2005 he decided to take on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Gunnar’s drive to be successful led him to take several trips abroad to get the best possible training, and so frequent travels to the United Kingdom led him to Matt Thornton (who awarded him his blue and purple belts) and John Kavanagh (who gave him his brown belt). By 2007 Gunnar Nelson’s MMA career was already well underway.

Gunnar also made several trips to New York where he befriended Renzo Gracie. There his game was brought to the next level by training with top level BJJ practitioners. It was under Renzo’s guidance that Gunner achieved some of his biggest tournament wins, with victories at the New York Open and the Pan American (Gi and Nogi). It was also Renzo who awarded Gunnar Nelso his black belt on the 30th of September 2009.

Gunnar Nelson Grappling Record

4 WINS
  • BY POINTS
    3 (75%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    0 (0%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    1 (25%)
  • BY DECISION
    0 (0%)
  • BY PENALTIES
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)

1 SUBMISSION WINS

#214eb8
RNC
100
1
1
(100%) SUBMISSION
5 LOSSES
  • BY POINTS
    3 (60%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES
    0 (0%)
  • BY SUBMISSION
    1 (20%)
  • BY DECISION
    1 (20%)
  • BY PENALTIES
    0 (0%)
  • BY DQ
    0 (0%)

1 SUBMISSION LOSSES

#214eb8
Kneebar
100
1
1
(100%) SUBMISSION

Gunnar Nelson Fight History

ID Opponent W/L Method Competition Weight Stage Year
2222James BrascoJames BrascoLReferee DecisionADCC88KGR12009
2268Alexandre RibeiroAlexandre RibeiroLKneebarADCCABSSF2009
2272Vinny MagalhaesVinny MagalhaesLPts: 3x0ADCCABS3RD2009
3170Andre GalvaoAndre GalvaoLPts: 3x0ADCC88KG1/4F2011
3210Alexandre RibeiroAlexandre RibeiroLPts: 2x0ADCCABS1/4F2011
2263Jeff MonsonWPts: 3x0ADCCABSR12009
2267David AvellanWRNCADCCABS1/4F2009
3142Marko HelenWPts: 5x0ADCC88KGR12011
3201Bruno FrazattoBruno FrazattoWPointsADCCABSR12011

Gunnar Nelson vs Clark Gracie

Gunner Nelson vs Michael Russell

Gunnar Nelson vs Sam Elsdon

11 Comments

  • Anon says:

    He IS The Youngest European to have received a BJJ Black Belt.

    • bjjheroes says:

      I couldn't tell exactly who awarded him his black belt, but he was trained by Helio throughout his life. Carlos could of given him the BB, but it was Helio who trained Carlinhos. I will try to dig deeper who actually gave him the BB.

      • Attestedplum says:

        I believe he got his black belt from John Kavanagh (2nd degree black belt) in SBG Dublin

        • Bjarni B. says:

          No, he got it from Renzo.

          Blue belt from Matt Thornton on april 25. 2006
          Purple belt from Matt Thornton on june 3. 2007
          Brown belt from John Kavanagh on june 28. 2008
          Black belt from Renzo Gracie on september 30. 2009

  • Mjölnir says:

    I believe the Lineage here is wrong. It should be: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Sr. > Carlos Gracie Junior > Renzo Gracie > Gunnar Nelson

  • Bodhi says:

    Helio taught all the second generation Gracies, Carlos Sr. had retired long before that and left the instruction to Helio.

  • Mjölnir says:

    Well if this is Renzo's lineage (as it is on this web):
    Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Sr. > Carlos Gracie Junior > Renzo Gracie

    Than Gunnar's should be:
    Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Sr. > Carlos Gracie Junior > Renzo Gracie > Gunnar Nelson

  • Renzo gave Gunnar his black belt, but the influence of John Kavanagh and Matt Thornton of SBGi should not be understated as Gunnar earned his blue through brown under those two.

  • RHB says:

    Gunnar vs prime Maia No Gi who do you guys think would win?

  • Chris says:

    He also placed 4th in the adcc absolute division after beating Jeff monson.

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