We got ourselves a great main event, as the Icelandic Gunnar Nelson takes on the Argentinian Santiago Ponzinibbio. Nelson, heads into this bout on a two-fight win streak, finishing both via second-round submission. This will be the second UFC fight card Nelson has headlined, the first being of which when he lost to Rick Story in Stockolm, Sweden. Obviously that was a very high profile fight at the time, so with this second opportunity to headline, this could be the fight to catapult Nelson back into the upper echelon of a stacked Welterweight division.
As for Ponzinibbio, he’s been on a tear, winning four straight fights. This will be his first headlining fight in the UFC and by far his biggest profile fight. The opportunity to crack the top ten and announce himself as a legitimate contender in the Welterweight division.
Anyways, I’m late, so let’s get to the predictions!
UFC Fight Night 113 Main Card On FOX Sports 1 (3 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Gunnar Nelson vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio – I think highly of Ponzinibbio, but this is stylistically not a great matchup. Nelson is a superior grappler and ground fighter, who’s striking has been vastly becoming just as big of a problem. If Nelson has Ponzinibbio thinking about the the threat of a takedown, it will just furthermore open up the striking abilities of Nelson. The only way Ponzinibbio can win this, is by using his athleticism and dancing around Nelson for five rounds. He needs to pick his shots and retreat early. That’s not going to happen though…. Nelson via submission.
115 lbs.: Joanne Calderwood vs. Cynthia Calvillo – Calderwood is not a Strawweight and she missed weight again. I suppose it was another attempt at a tough cut and she reached her breaking point. It’s a shame because it’s going to affect her in the fight as it usually does and I was going to pick her. So with that, I got the young gun Calvillo winning this via late submission.
155 lbs.: Paul Felder vs. Stevie Ray – This is a fun fight, but I got Felder here. Although he often fights below his abilities, I feel as if he’s turned the corner of late. His last fight against Alessandro Ricci, he just put an impressive performance that led to a first round finish. In Ray’s last fight, he had to survive an early storm against an old and shell of himself Joe Lauzon. No offense, it was a great comeback, but I wasn’t too impressed with who it was against as maybe other were. Anyways, Felder’s going to stuff Ray’s takedowns and out strike Ray, eventually TKO’n him in the third round.
185 lbs.: Ryan Janes vs. Jack Marshman – I got Marshmann here via knockout. Janes has no striking abilities nor striking defense to speak of. He’s a ground fighter and he’s going to get knocked out before he gets the chance to take it there. Marshmann via KO!
205 lbs.: Paul Craig vs. Khalil Rountree – I’m a fan of Rountree and I think eventually he’ll turn into a threat in the Light Heavyweight division. It all starts with shoring up his takedown defense and ground game. His athleticism and striking abilities are already good enough to beat some top guys at 205, but his lack of wrestling will never allow him to evolve. Craig is a guy who likes to get his opponents to the mat and submit them, which is Rountree hasn’t improved stopping that, then this won’t last long. I don’t think he’s shored up that kryptonite yet… Craig via submission.
265 lbs.: James Mulheron vs. Justin Willis – I have no idea who these men are, but when I saw Willis step on the scale…I thought he was at least 300 pounds. I mean, he’s massive! His cardio can’t be that great, but I don’t think he’ll need it here. So with that, I got Willis via TKO (smother)!
UFC Fight Night 113 “Prelims” On FOX Sports 1 (1 p.m. ET):
170 lbs.: Bobby Nash vs. Danny Roberts – Before getting knocked out by Mike Perry in the third round, I thought Roberts was doing very well in that fight. He took a lot Perry’s best shots and kept on coming. Besides that fight, I’ve been very impressed with Roberts and I think this is the perfect fight for him to rebound. Nash is a wrestler with heavy hands, which will be a good test for Roberts, but an easy one to crack. So with that, I got Roberts via KO!
125 lbs.: Alexandre Pantoja vs. Neil Seery – I like Seery, but he’s too old and slow for a young gun like Pantoja. Seery relies on being better on the feet and enduring punishment, but coming on strong late. That’s not going to work against Pantoja, as he’s going to get dominated from the start of the bell to the end. So with that, I got Pantoja via late stoppage.
170 lbs.: Galore Bofando vs. Charlie Ward – Never seen either of these guys, but record-wise, both are pretty inexperienced. Bofando’s record is 4-2, with both losses coming via DQ, which makes me think he’s a bit of a wild man. I like that, so I’m going with Bofando via TKO!
155 lbs.: Danny Henry vs. Daniel Teymur – If Daniel Teymur is anything like his brother, then this should be a breeze. Given that he’s undefeated and was a very successful kickboxer adds incentive here for me to side with Teymur via KO!
UFC Fight Night 113 “Prelims” On UFC Fight Pass (12 p.m. ET):
135 lbs.: Brett Johns vs. Albert Morales – I know Johns is the big favorite in this fight, but I’ve been a fan of Morales ever he went toe-to-toe with Thomas Almeida. He eventually got TKO’d in round two, but not before he made it an absolute war. Anyways, I’m going with the upset and say that Morales out strikes Johns to take it via decision.
135 lbs.: Amanda Lemos vs. Leslie Smith – Never heard of Lemos, but a fight this early against a grizzled veteran in Leslie Smith won’t spell well. I see this one ending in the third round via TKO, about the same time Smith lands her 100th strike in the fight.