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Gunnar Nelson issues statement after withdrawing from UFC Fight Night 99 in Belfast

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It was meant to be a battle between two of the most enigmatic welterweights in the UFC, but for now the fight will have to wait. Gunnar Nelson was forced out of his fight against Dong Hyun Kim, which was slated to take place at UFC Fight Night 99.

The Icelandic fighter, who was supposed to face Kim in the main event in Belfast, Northern Ireland, issued a statement via his Instagram on Tuesday, apologizing for having to pull out, and explaining the circumstances.

"I want to begin with saying I'm very sorry to all my fans, sponsors, friends and Stun Gun that I'm pulling out of this fight in Belfast," Nelson wrote.

I was so much looking forward to fighting again in Ireland and now it's not happening because of a stupid ankle twist that ironically happened in a UFC open work out!! It happened at 1:08min into the video that was live on Facebook for those who want to see it, it's still up I think.

"Right away I wasn't sure how serious it was so I kept face and rolled a little on but told my training partner Kenny Baker about it during and he knew all about it he said because he felt the massive click when it happened. I was forced to stop within minutes because i realized it was bad.

 For a few days I was not able to put any weight on the leg and thought I had to pull out and felt devastated but then within 10 days I got to a state where I could walk normally without much pain so I thought again that I was gonna fight and felt great. For a few weeks I was doing everything that I could to get better so I would be able to return to proper training again but that next step of being able to bounce, move in and out and grapple just would not happened. I kept doing everything I could which was mostly rowing, swimming and bits here and there thinking I would get there.

A week ago my trainers told me and I was starting to realize that this was gonna take more time and i could not go into this fight with one ankle and not really any martial art training at all :( Again I am so sorry for this but to all who already booked their tickets and travels and all the fans that were looking forward to this fight like I was.

"I will be back soon better then ever. Thank you all for all the support and I'm sorry for any inconvenience."

The 28-year-old Nelson is coming off a victory over Albert Tumenov at UFC Fight Night 87 in The Netherlands. Kim was removed from the Belfast card, and the new main event that was announced last week will be a rematch between middleweights Gegard Mousasi and Uriah Hall.

UFC Fight Night 99 takes place on November 19, SSE Arena in Belfast.

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