Tim B. takes a look at a violent and somewhat strange UFC event in Glasgow today. Santiago Ponzinibbio is for real. He entered the UFC with one of those padded records that is common in South America, mostly built off of beating lower-level competition. He was grinded out by Ryan LaFlare in his debut, picked up a couple of wins, then got stopped by Lorenz Larkin. Since then though, he has looked excellent in picking up four wins in a row.
But in my opinion, Gunnar Nelson was way too big a step up in competition. And I was very wrong.
Gunnar started very strong, landing two big shots that got The Ponz’s attention. But when he got his chance, he landed a massive right hook that wobbled Nelson, and he cornered him while throwing a solid, technical combination. A beautiful left ended Nelson’s night (well, a couple of hammerfists added to that), and a new star was born in the UFC’s welterweight division.
Can I please see Santiago Ponzinibbio fight Rafael dos Anjos? Or Carlos Condit!
Joanne Calderwood and Cynthia Calvillo put on kind of a strange fight. Calderwood landed more strikes in every round, yet still lost with two 30-27 scores for Calvillo. I agree with Calvillo winning because she stole the first and third with late takedowns and submission threats. Giving Calvillo the second, in a round where she didn’t get a takedown and got dropped? Not so sure about that. But to be honest, other than the grappling exchanges and a couple of moments, the fight was kind of dull. The crowd was the best part of it, by far.
Holy hell, Paul Felder is a savage. I think he knocked out Stevie Ray twice. That monster knee looked to me like it put Ray out – his hands were just at his side when he was on the mat and he wasn’t defending – but the follow-up punches seemed to wake him back up. For about one minute, until Felder slept him with two of the deadliest elbows you’ll see in high-level MMA. The slow-motion replay was just ridiculous.
Felder is also a very well-spoken guy, and it’s no surprise that he got an announcing spot on Tuesday Night Contenders. He looked badass during the post-fight interview with his cut leaking blood onto his Reebok shirt and him not even noticing or caring as well.
Jack Marshman and Ryan Janes put on an average middleweight fight. Marshman won the first with some hard shots. The second was close, but I leaned towards Marshman for the harder shots. The third was clearly Janes. The judges gave it to Marshman, and I don’t have any problem with that.
There’s a lot to unpack from the Khalil Rountree-Paul Craig fight. First, Craig fought a very bad fight. It seemed like once he tasted Rountree’s power, his gameplan went out the window. Did he even attempt a takedown? I don’t think so. Meanwhile, Rountree picked up a nice win, but kind of took away from the moment by standing over his beaten opponent for a good 10 seconds, just staring at him. That is pretty disrespectful in my eyes.
Wow, was Justin Willis and James Mulheron a terrible way to start the main card. I guess the UFC thought a quick heavyweight knockout would kickstart the show, but what we got was plodding, boring TUF 10 heavyweight action. I hope I never have to see that fight ever again.
Danny Roberts hits extremely hard. The fight with Bobby Nash was a bit awkward before that, but one lethal left hook ended Nashty’s night.
Let me get this out of the way – Neil Seery is a classy guy and he put on some great fights. I’m sad I won’t get to see him scrap anymore. But it sure seemed like Alexandre Pantoja could have taken him down and finished him whenever he wanted to. He brawled for two rounds because he likes brawling, and it was fun. But when the third round came around, Pantoja totally dominated and easily won the fight via submission.
Galore Bofando’s KO of Charlie Ward is one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen in MMA, and I’ve seen a lot of MMA. He just sort of threw him to the mat – it wasn’t even a slam – and Ward’s head hit the mat. He was out just like that. It was so odd.
Marc Goddard deserves a lot of credit for his work in that fight too. He noticed before anyone that Ward was hurt and moved over much closer to him. Bofando did land a couple of hammerfists that probably didn’t need to happen, but almost any other referee would have been way out of position and Bofando could have landed a lot more. Goddard didn’t let that happen because he’s very good at his job. I’d say he’s the best referee in the game right now.
Danny Henry survived a rough first round against Daniel Teymur and completely took over. It’s a shame he couldn’t get the finish, but I gave him 10-8 scores in the second and third rounds. It seemed like two judges didn’t know they were using the new scoring system though – 29-28 is a very bad score for that fight.
Brett Johns put on a good performance against Albert Morales. But Morales just had nothing off his back at all. The best part of the fight was Morales’ wrestling coach tearing him a new one for getting taken down all the time.
If you’ve ever watched Leslie Smith fight, you know she’s relentless. Amanda Lemos was touching her up pretty nicely in the first, looking pretty technical and strong. But Smith just broke her with pressure. She completely tamed the Brazilian, even to the point where Lemos with turning her back on Smith. Great performance.
One last thing – there’s no way Smith should ever be on Fight Pass. I guess that’s what you get for union talk though.