UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs. Ponzinibbio Preview
A preview of the upcoming UFC Fight Night event in Glasgow, Scotland.
Updated: July 13, 2017 • 5:17 PM ET
UFC Fight Night will take place this Sunday in The SSE Hydro.
UFC Fight Night 113 is invading Glasgow, Scotland on Sunday and features two must-see welterweights.
The main event will be a showdown between No. 8 ranked welterweight Gunnar Nelson and No. 14 welterweight Santiago Ponzinibbio. Both men have gained rising reputations as potential title contenders.
Ponzinibbio is 6-2 in the UFC and riding a four-fight winning streak with notable wins over Nordine Taleb, Zak Cummings and Sean Strickland. The 30-year-old Argentinian is known for great movement and footwork, and he isn’t afraid to stay on his feet and strike. He has 60 percent takedown defense, which he’ll certainly need on Sunday against Nelson.
Nelson, a native of Iceland, is 7-2 in the UFC and riding a two-fight winning streak. He has victories over Alan Jouban, Cummings and Brandon Thatch. Nelson, 28, is known as a submission artist, and despite his last loss coming in December 2015 at UFC 194 to title contender Demian Maia, he proved his worth in that fight. Nelson is one of the most dangerous ground fighters in the UFC with 63 percent takedown accuracy and six fights finished by submission.
His ground game should keep Ponzinibbio on his heels and looking for the takedown. The interesting aspect to look forward to is how long Nelson will stand and strike. A stand-up fight would be surprising, but entertaining at the same time, and both men have the ability to manipulate where the fight goes with their hands.
Sunday’s co-main event will feature a women’s strawweight bout between Scotland native and No. 8 ranked Joanne Calderwood, and No. 14 strawweight Cynthia Calvillo.
Calderwood is 3-2 in the UFC with impressive wins over Valerie Letourneau and Cortney Casey, but she’s coming off a submission loss to title challenger Jessica Andrade. A win over Andrade at UFC 203 in September would have likely landed Calderwood a title shot, so she could be one win away from being right back in the thick of title contention in the division. “JoJo” has great striking and Muay Thai, but it’s her heart that has won fans over. Her victory over Casey won Fight of the Night honors.
Calvillo is 2-0 in the UFC and also has a giant-sized heart. Both of her fights took place roughly a month apart from each other, and she won both by submission over Amanda Cooper and Pearl Gonzalez, respectively. She agreed to her fight with Cooper on 10 days’ notice, and it was one of the most successful debuts in strawweight history. Calvillo’s greatest strength is grappling, so she’s expected to take the fight to the ground where she has experienced great success. Calderwood could attempt to counter this approach with vicious striking and a big frame for 115 pounds.
The main card also features a lightweight fight between Stevie Ray of Scotland and American Paul Felder. Ray is 5-1 in the UFC and has put together a two-fight win streak with victories over veterans Ross Pearson and Joe Lauzon. He brings a good, all-around game to the Octagon and at 27 years old, Ray is approaching the prime of his career. A win over Felder could boost him into the top 15 of the lightweight division.
Felder is 5-3 in the UFC and coming of a Performance of the Night knockout victory over Alessandro Ricci in February. His loss to top contender Edson Barboza in July 2015 won Fight of the Night honors and was a great back and forth battle. Felder has shown tremendous heart in previous fights and is known for keeping intensity and pressure at a maximum. Like Ray, Felder could likely land in the top 15 of the lightweight division with a victory.
Other fights on the main card include:
Middleweight fight: Jack Marshman (South Wales) vs. Ryan Janes (Canada)
Light Heavyweight fight: Khalil Rountree Jr. (U.S.) vs. Paul Craig (Scotland)
Heavyweight fight: James Mulheron (England) vs. Justin Willis (U.S.)