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Elizeu Zaleski calls out Gunnar Nelson: ‘It will be a pleasure to put my hands on him’

Elizeu Zaleski went 2-0 in 2018 with a pair of beautiful knockouts in the UFC.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Gunnar Nelson stopped Alex Oliveira in impressive fashion at UFC 231, which took place Saturday night in Toronto, and another Brazilian is willing to enter the cage against “Gunni” in 2019.

Elizeu Zaleski, who is recovering from a knee injury that forced him out of a UFC Beijing bout with Li Jingliang, reached out to MMA Fighting on Monday to call out the Iceland-native welterweight talent, who submitted Oliveira in Canada.

“Fighting Gunnar Nelson would be really exciting,” Zaleski said. “He’s been doing a good job in the UFC, and I want to fight the best. I want to be the best, I want to be the champion. He had a great performance against ‘Cowboy’, and I hope (the UFC) listens to me after they didn’t gave me Robbie Lawler.”

“Capoeira” called out former champion Lawler after his highlight-reel knockout over Luigi Vendramini in September, but was booked against Jingliang in China instead. The Brazilian has won six in a row since 2016, including a trio of “Fight of the Night” victories and a pair of stunning knockouts.

Nelson, 8-3 under the UFC banner, won three of four since 2016, submitting Albert Tumenov, Alan Jouban and “Cowboy” Oliveira. Heading into UFC 231, Nelson was ranked No. 14 on the official UFC list, while Zaleski was sitting at No. 15.

Zaleski expects to return to the Octagon by the end of March.

“I’m here to fight. I want to fight,” the Brazilian said. “If he’s down for it, we will brawl and win another fight of the night bonus because I always give my all in my fights. I’m not here to play around, I want to become welterweight champion and I will work hard for that. If he wants a brawl in his next fight, be sure that it will be a pleasure to put my hands on him.”

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