Gunnar Nelson will still make his highly anticipated UFC return in London.
Takashi Sato will replace an injured Claudio Silva and face Nelson (17-5-1 MMA, 8-5 UFC) on March 19 at UFC Fight Night 204 from The O2 Arena. MMA Junkie confirmed the news following an initial report from ESPN.
Nelson is set to return after a more than two-year layoff. The 33-year-old hasn’t competed since back-to-back losses to Leon Edwards and most recently Gilbert Burns in September 2019.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Sato has split his first four UFC appearances. After needing just 48 seconds to finish Jason Witt at UFC on ESPN 12, the Sanford MMA fighter was submitted by Miguel Baeza in November 2020.
With the change, UFC Fight Night 204 includes:
Alexander Volkov vs. Tom Aspinall
Paddy Pimblett vs. Kazula Vargas
Arnold Allen vs. Dan Hooker
Paul Craig vs. Nikita Krylov
Gunnar Nelson vs. Takashi Sato
Cody Durden vs. Muhammad Mokaev
Luana Carolina vs. Molly McCann
Jack Shore vs. Timur Valiev
Cory McKenna vs. Elise Reed
Nathaniel Wood vs. opponent TBA
Jai Herbert vs. Ilia Topuria
Makwan Amirkhani vs. Mike Grundy
Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Sergei Pavlovich