Gunnar Nelson back with matchup against Dagestani Omari Akhemdov

One of Europe’s most intriguing prospects is back.

Icelandic fighter Gunnar Nelson, who has sat out most of the second

half of the year while recovering from injury, has his return date

set. It will come on March 8, when he faces rugged Dagestani Omari

Akhmedov at a UFC Fight Night event in London.

The UFC announced the matchup on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old Nelson is unbeaten in his career at 11-0-1, and

has defeated both of his UFC foes since joining the promotion in


In both of those matches, he gained experience gaining bigger

men. In one, he defeated former Sengoku middleweight champ Jorge

Santiago. In the other, he choked out DeMarques Johnson after

Johnson weighed in at 183 pounds for a 175-pound catch weight


Those experiences will come in handy in facing Akhmedov, who has

spent his career up to this point as a middleweight.

He debuted at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson, knocking

out Thiago Perpetuo in less than a round. For that fight, Akhmedov

weighed a comfortable 182, making his move to 170 a near


He is 12-1 in his career and has won 11 straight fights


The London card, which emanates from the O2 Arena, features a

main event of Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jimi Manuwa. The matchup is

significant because if Gustafsson emerges victorious, he will once

again become the light-heavyweight division’s No. 1 contender

and set up a potential rematch with Jon Jones.

On Tuesday, the UFC also officially announced the welterweight

pairing of Danny Mitchell vs. Igor Araujo for the card.