Thursday, December 9, 2021

UFC Fight Night 113: Nelson vs. Ponzinibbio Preview

Likely lost in all the hoopla surrounding the Mayweather-McGregor World Tour is the fact that there is MMA action this weekend from the UFC.

UFC Fight Night 113 goes down Sunday from Glasgow, Scotland and airs on both FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass. A dozen fights are scheduled, including a main event between Gunnar Nelson and Santiago Ponzinibbio.

Which leads us to this preview, and there is no better place to start than the headline act:

Main Event: Gunnar Nelson vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio

A teammate of Conor McGregor, Gunnar Nelson has been carving out his own role in the UFC since signing with them in 2012. He is 7-2 over that span, including back-to-back submissions of Alan Jouban and Albert Tumenov.

Where Nelson has struggled is against that upper-tier of welterweight fighters. He’s dropped a pair of decisions to Demian Maia and Rick Story, keeping him from climbing higher up the ladder.

In Santiago Ponzinibbio, Nelson gets the chance to shine against a red-hot fighter. Ponzinibbio (24-3) is riding a four-fight win streak that includes finishes vs. Court McGee and Andreas Stahl. He has also dropped two UFC fights, falling to Lorenz Larkin and Ryan LaFlare.

Co-Main Event: Joanne Calderwood vs. Cynthia Calvillo

Getting another chance to shine in front of her home fans, Joanne Calderwood took a little of the luster off her co-main event fight with Cynthia Calvillo by missing weight. The fight will continue on as planned, but that slip-up could prove costly.

Calderwood is coming off a submission loss to Jessica Andrade and also was bested by submission two years ago when she met Maryna Moroz here in Glasgow.

Calvillo earned a second straight submission win when she finished Pearl Gonzalez earlier this year. She is 5-0 as a pro and 5-1 as an amateur.

Rest of the Main Card

Khalil Rountree had plenty of expectations when he made the finals of The Ultimate Fighter, but a decision loss to Andrew Sanchez was followed up by a submission defeat at the hands of Tyson Pedro. He did bounce back when he landed a knee that ended the night of Daniel Jolly earlier this year.

Stevie Ray, another Scotland native, looks to keep his role intact when he faces Paul Felder. Ray earned a decision win this past April over Joe Lauzon and also finished off 2016 with a victory vs. Ross Pearson.

His opponent, Felder, rebounded from a loss to Francisco Trinaldo by defeating Alessandro Ricci in February. Felder’s also faced the likes of Josh Burkman, Daron Cruickshank, Pearson and Edson Barboza, splitting those four fights.

The Prelims

Look out for Brett Johns on the early prelims, as he takes on Albert Morales. Johns, a former champion outside the UFC, was set to meet veteran Mitch Gagnon before the Canadian bowed out with an injury.

Also, Danny Roberts-Bobby Nash and Alexandre Pantoja-Neil Seery could be highlight-reel fights. Seery is expected to retire following the flyweight fight.

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