Interview

Nelson - I might go into MMA after football

Although only in the infancy of his football career, Reiss Nelson already has an eye on what he might like to do in later life.

The 17-year-old has burst into the first-team picture in recent weeks, impressing in both the Carabao Cup and Europa League.

Away from football, though, Nelson is an avid MMA fan and admires the sport’s biggest star Conor McGregor, who switched sports himself in August to fight Floyd Mayweather.

“I watched the McGregor fight,” said Nelson to the Arsenal Magazine. “And for the first couple of rounds I felt he was doing really well and he had Mayweather on the back foot, so I was confident that it would be a good fight and he might win, but then as the rounds went on he got pretty tired. 

“I knew that from his previous UFC fights that he may tire out, like he did against Nate Diaz, and that’s what happened. Mayweather had his way in the last couple of rounds.

“I was backing McGregor all the way. I’m a really big UFC fan. I think his aura and his personality are really great. I like to watch a lot of his documentaries and his vlog, and I think he’s just come up from nothing really. He was a plumber before he became a fighter, he’s worked really hard and his story is great.

“In some ways, I look up to him as a sportsman. His work rate and the effort he puts in is immense.

“I like Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone a lot too. He’s a very good fighter, very versatile and uses a lot of kicks in his style. I really like the flying knees and all of that, but no one really does that sort of thing anymore, people tend to grapple much more, but I love that style.

“MMA is something that I may want to get into after football. I spent some time over the summer doing a lot of kickboxing and I just felt that it was something I enjoyed doing a lot.”

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