March 14, 2023 3 min read


Gunnar Nelson vs Bryan Barberena UFC 286 Odds, Time, and Prediction

Gunnar Nelson vs Bryan Barberena is one of the most interesting matchups on the fight card of UFC 286, an event taking place at The O2 Arena in London this coming Saturday

Originally, Nelson was supposed to fight Daniel Rodriguez but after he pulled out, Barberena took his place. With under four weeks to prepare for the Nelson fight, Barberena is seen as a massive underdog. Does he have it in him to pull off an upset? Let’s find out!

Gunnar Nelson vs Bryan Barberena UFC 286 Odds

Gunnar Nelson-430
Bryan Barberena+300
*Odds taken from FanDuel on Tuesday, March 14, 2023.

When, Where, and How to Watch?

  • Place: The O2 Arena in London, England
  • Date: Saturday, March 18, 2023
  • Time: ~4:00 PM ET
  • How to Watch: ESPN+

Gunnar Nelson Plotting Another Submission Win

The 34-year-old Icelandic fighter is an absolute genius on the floor. He’s a 3rd-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu who’s won the gold two times at the BJJ Pan American Championship. His record in mixed martial arts is 18-5-1, with two-thirds of his wins happening by submission.

He’s been fighting in the UFS for more than a decade, but in the last couple of years, Nelson hasn’t been too successful. HE did win his most recent fight – against Takashi Sato by unanimous decision – but before that, he was 1-3.

Two of those three losses happened by decision, while he also lost one by knockout in round 1 (vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio). Strike defense is actually one of his biggest weaknesses. In the UFC, he defends only 50% of the significant strikes his opponents threw at him. The reason why this should worry him ahead of UFC 286 is that Barberena lands 5.92 significant strikes per minute.

Bryan Barberena In Mood for Fighting

Bryan Barberena is the kind of fighter who never refuses a fight. He was offered to fight Nelson a month before UFC 286, and he gladly accepted. This may seem strange considering that the last time he fought was last December.

That’s when we saw him lose by submission to Rafael Dos Anjos in round 2 of a fight that saw Barberena get taken down four times. Speaking of takedowns, Bam Bam tends to suffer a lot of them. In fact, in the five fights before the Dos Anjos fight, he got taken down 22 times in total.

This is something that needs to worry him a lot ahead of the fight with Nelson, who’s a fighter that averages 1.86 takedowns and who’s got a TD accuracy of 60%.

Gunnar Nelson vs Bryan Barberena Prediction

Gunnar Nelson shouldn’t care much that his opponent isn’t Daniel Rodriguez. Sure, in the first part of the camp, he was training for D-Rod, but the good news for him is that Barberena isn’t much different. Both are brawlers who tend to hit a lot, but also get hit a lot. Most importantly for Nelson, both are very susceptible to takedowns.

Knowing all this, it’s clear that Nelson’s path to victory is going to be to take Barberena down and finish him with a submission. Will he succeed? We think so, yeah.

Pick: Gunnar Nelson to win by submission


Jessie is our resident sports specialist with over 4 years of experience in sports journalism. She's worked with several prominent online sports news outlets in the past and has accrued specialist insight across a wide range of sports markets. Combined with her own love and excitement of sports, having competed at a national level during college, she aims to improve sports coverage value for our readers at GamblingNews.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *