A championship chance in the MMA appears to be coming into focus for Nebraska City’s Keyes Nelson as the fighter prepares for his next bout at the Dynasty Combat Sports’ Spring Brawl on April 1 at Lincoln’s Pinnacle Bank Arena against Haris Talundzic.
The two fighters will be battling for the No. 1 contender position in the promotion’s 170-pound weight class.
“It’s another big card,” said Nelson. “It’s going to be a big fight for me.”
With a win, the former Nebraska City High School wrestler, will be in line for a title shot, which could happen as soon as a card at the Ralston Arena sometime in late May.
The reference to Nelson’s high school wrestling career seems appropriate for this next MMA challenge since Nelson knows his foe from the prep mats.
Nelson said he wrestled with Talundzic on the high school national freestyle and Greco-Roman team.
Those mat techniques could be a big key to this match.
“He’s more of a wrestler,” said Nelson. “He hasn’t been fighting that long so I can expect he’ll go to the ground.”
If the match goes to the mat, Nelson said he feels that he can definitely win a grappling contest. When the fighters are on their feet, Nelson should have a distinct advantage.
That advantage is built through tough workouts at Minner-Gray Performance and Fitness of Nebraska City and also at Skywalker 101 Boxing of Papillion.
“I’ve got a pretty tough camp,” said Nelson. “I get a lot of 1-on-1 time with Darrick (Minner).”
Striking training takes place once a week at Skywalker 101 Boxing and Nelson said the diversity of sparing partners there has really helped him to improve.
“I get to see a lot competition-wise when we spar up there,” said Nelson.
Beyond this fight, Nelson obviously wants to get a win and eventually get the title, but he also wants to go pro soon too and he wants to stay active in the fight game.
A title defense or a pro debut at the Nebraska City fights at Larson Motors in June is not out of the question.
It’s sort of a wait and see game. After this fight and the next, Nelson would then just turn to his team and make the next move on their advice.
“I’ve got a good coaching staff behind me. I’ve got a good management team,” Nelson said. “They steer me in the right direction. If they think that I am ready, then I am ready.”