UFC London results: Leon Edwards earns impressive victory over Gunnar Nelson

The idea Leon Edwards could defeat Gunnar Nelson didn’t seem far-fetched.

But beating one of the welterweight division’s great grapplers at his own game? Now that was unexpected.

Edwards continued his slow-but-steady climb up the UFC welterweight ranks with his biggest win to date in Saturday’s co-feature bout at UFC London.

Edwards thoroughly outwrestled his Icelandic foe en route to victory. The official tally was a split decision at 02 Arena, as Edwards got 29-27 and 29-28 scores to a bizarre 29-28 Nelson score.

“I’m on a seven-fight win streak now in the hardest division in the sport,” Edwards said. “Put some respect on my name.”

Edwards set the tone early on by getting the better of Nelson, who never quite seemed himself, in both the standup, the clinch, and on the floor.

It was more of the same in the second, but this time, Edwards punctuated his performance with a hellacious standing elbow which immediately caused a hematoma underneath Nelson’s right eye. The elbow dropped Nelson, and Edwards pounced in the round’s closing seconds, but Nelson survived.

Nelson showed signs of life in the final round and final got a takedown and into top position in the final minute, but it was too little, too late.

With his seventh straight win and fourth decision victory in his past five, Edwards is now 17-3. Nelson (17-4-1) has now dropped two of his past three.