Santiago Ponzinibbio catapulted himself up the welterweight rankings and into the big time as he scored a massive knockout upset victory over fan favourite contender Gunnar Nelson at UFC Glasgow.
UFC Glasgow, or UFC Fight Night 113, took place on Sunday, July 16 at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland and featured a card stacked with talented fighters from, not only Scotland but the rest of the UK and Ireland.
The first round started with Nelson controlling the pace and using his karate stance to throw short, quick strikes that narrowly missed the mark. It was during this feeling out process that “Gunni” got caught by the Argentinian. Ponzinibbio landed a counter right as Nelson was on the way in. This rocked the Icelander, who stumbled but couldn’t recover before Ponzinibbio landed a left hook which finished the fight and left Nelson flat on his back.
In the co-main event, Cynthia Calvillo kept her perfect record in tact with a hard fought unanimous decision victory over fellow strawweight contender Joanne Calderwood.
The Glasgow crowd was absolutely rabid for hometown hero Calderwood as she controlled the centre of the Octagon early on and used her size advantage to keep Calvillo at the end of her strikes. It was a scrappy standup battle that was brought to life with submission attempts by Calvillo from exciting scrambles to end the first round.
There wasn’t much to choose between the two in the second round other than a bloody nose for the Scot who wasn’t as light on her feet as before. Also, Calvillo would start to find her range and get more into the fight.
It was more tit-for-tat striking by both fighters in round three and the fight seemed it could be there for the taking with Calvillo showing far more intent. The Team Alpha Male prospect came close to finishing the fight with a rear-naked choke in the closing seconds and despite not getting the submission, did enough to get the unanimous decision victory much to the anger of the biased crowd.
An emotional Paul Felder, who recently lost his father, made a huge statement in the lightweight division, as he brutalised hometown hero Stevie Ray with elbows for the KO stoppage in the first round. Felder would dedicate the win to his late father, whose ashes he carried in a vial around his neck to the cage, in his post-fight interview.
Ray got “The Irish Dragon” against the cage early in the clinch which pleased the vocal crowd. Attempting a level change, Ray could not get the takedown and would trade strikes with Felder in the clinch. This would prove to be a mistake by the Scot as Felder returned to his muay thai roots and landed a devastating knee to the abdomen which dropped Ray to the mat.
Felder immediately got on top and delivered ground and pound, however, Ray would defend the initial attack and try to recover. However, it proved to be in vain as Felder would hit Ray with crushing elbows from the top, possibly breaking his orbital before knocking him out cold for the win.
Welsh middleweight Jack Marshman made a return to the win column as he outstruck Canadian Ryan Janes as he took the unanimous decision victory in an exciting standup battle.
Marshman put his striking together well in the opening stanza, landing hard combinations which tested the chin of his tough opponent. The second round proved to be much closer however Marshman was still landing the better punches as Janes started to find his feet.
The 35-year old would take over in the final round as Marshman started to visibly tire. Using his long reach, Janes would sting his opponent with jabs however it was too little, too late as Marshman hung on for the victory on all three judges’ scorecards.
Former TUF 23 competitor Khalil Rountree upset hometown favourite Paul Craig as he scored his second successive KO win in the first round of their light-heavyweight bout.
The much-fancied Craig was tentative throughout the fight and the American capitalised on it again and again, landing heavy strikes, keeping the Scot on the back foot. Rountree continued to turn up the heat and it paid off towards the end of the first round when he landed a short uppercut on the inside that dropped Craig, leaving him to pounce on top and get the finish.
Lastly, former World Series of Fighting heavyweight Justin Willis battled to an unremarkable unanimous decision over fellow debutant James Mulheron. The Brit was off the pace from the get-go and Willis was better in every area of the fight. This was especially true on the ground where the American dominated his opponent and easily got the win without getting out of second gear.
UFC Glasgow Results
Welterweight Main Event: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Gunnar Nelson via KO (Punches) (Round 1 – 1:22)
Women’s Strawweight Bout: Cynthia Calvillo def. Joanne Calderwood via Decision (Unaninous) (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Lightweight Bout: Paul Felder def. Stevie Ray via KO (Elbows) (Round 1 – 3:57)
Middleweight Bout: Jack Marshman def. Ryan Janes via Decision (Unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Light-Heavyweight Bout: Khalil Rountree def. Paul Craig via KO (Strikes) (Round 1 – 4:56)
Heavyweight Bout: Justin Willis def. James Mulheron via Decision (Unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Welterweight Bout: Danny Roberts def. Bobby Nash via KO (Punch) (Round 2 – 3:59)
Flyweight Bout: Alexandre Pantoja def. Neil Seery via Submission (Rear-naked choke) (Round 3 – 2:31)
Welterweight Bout: Galore Bofando def. Charlie Ward via KO (Slam and Punches) (Round 1 – 2:10)
Lightweight Bout: Danny Henry def. Daniel Teymur via Decision (Unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-26)
Bantamweight Bout: Brett Johns def. Albert Morales via Decision (Unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-25)
Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Leslie Smith def. Amanda Lemos via TKO (Standing Elbows) (Round 2 – 2:53)