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UFC 189 results: Gunnar Nelson stops Brandon Thatch for 10th career submission

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Esther Lin, Sportsfile

Gunnar Nelson went back to basics and shook off his first career loss in short order.

The Icelandic submission whiz wasted little time Saturday night at UFC 189 against Brandon Thatch, winning via rear-naked choke at 2:54 of the opening round of their welterweight fight at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena.

It was the 10th career submission victory for the 26-year-old Nelson.

"I'm usually very confident that when it gets to the ground, I'll get the finish," said Nelson (13-1-1). "It wasn't different this time."

More Coverage: UFC 189 Results | UFC news

Nelson set the tone by drilling Thatch (11-3) with a left to the jaw which rocked Thatch, then a right flush to the jaw which dropped him.

Nelson aggressively pursued the finish on the ground, getting into top position, switch over to Thatch's back, and softening him up with punches to the head until he sunk in the RNC. It didn't take Thatch long to tap.

"That's what we're working on," Nelson said of the fight-altering combo. "That's what we needed to work on, and that's what we do."