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.
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 at the 2009 ADCC
|Under 87kg||James Brasco||Gunnar Nelson||Referee Decision||1st|
|Absolute||Gunner Nelson||Jeff Monson||Points: 3×0||1st|
|Absolute||Gunnar Nelson||David Avellan||Submission: RNC||1/4 Finals|
|Absolute||Xande Ribeiro||Gunnar Nelson||Submission: Knee Bar||Semi Finals|
|Absolute||Vinny Magalhaes||Gunnar Nelson||Points: 3×0||3rd and 4th place|
Gunnar Nelson vs Clark Gracie
Gunner Nelson vs Michael Russell
Gunnar Nelson vs Sam Elsdon