Previewing UFC Fight Night 113
The UFC is continuing its torrid pace for the summer with a special Sunday afternoon card live from Glasgow, Scotland. The card features a ton of UK fighters including a ton of Scottish fighters. This will be the first time the UFC returns to Glasgow since July of 2015. The card is headlined by a top 15 Welterweight clash when Gunnar “Gunni” Nelson (16-2-1 #8 Ranked Welterweight) taking on Santiago “Gente Boa” Ponzinibbio (24-3 # 14 Ranked Welterweight). The crowd will undoubtedly be super into this matchup and honestly, behind a ton of the fighters on the card. Whenever the UFC visits the UK the crowds are always solid and it will most certainly add to this card. The UFC has 12 fights scheduled for the card, so let’s break them down.
Leslie “The Peacemaker” Smith (9-7-1) will welcome Amanda Lemos (6-0-1) to the UFC and the Women’s Bantamweight Division. Leslie Smith got back on the winning track with a decision win back in December of 2016. This got her UFC record back to 3-3 inside the UFC. She has been in there with some serious threats including her match up with Cris Cyborg (16-1 1NC) in May of 2016. Smith does have 4 knockouts on her record and did look good in her last matchup. Amanda Lemos enters the UFC undefeated and has finished all 6 victories on her record. The Jungle Fight veteran has 5 knockouts on her resume. The question is how she will handle the debut jitters that the UFC brings with it. This one has the makings of a slugfest to kick the card off. Prediction: Amanda Lemos via TKO.
The featured UFC Fight Pass prelim has undefeated Brett “The Pikey” Johns (13-0) taking on Albert “The Warrior” Morales (7-1-1) in the Bantamweight Division. Johns was supposed to appear back at UFC Fight Night 107, but his fight was pulled from the card on the day of the show as his opponent was not fit to fight. Johns won his UFC debut back in November of 2016 and will be looking to keep that record unblemished. Johns usually goes the distance, but he has shown his ability to finish fights on the mat. Morales is 1-1-1 in the UFC but is coming off his first victory back in March of this year. Morales has been pretty well rounded in his victories with 2 knockouts, 3 submissions, and 2 decisions. This one should be a solid clash of two young and up and coming prospects. Prediction: Brett Johns via Decision.
Two Lightweight Fighters are making their UFC debuts to kick off the FS1 Prelims with Danny Henry (10-2) taking on Daniel Teymur (6-0). Danny Henry comes in with a 3 fight win streak including claiming the EFC Worldwide Featherweight Championship for the second time his last time out. 5 of his 10 victories has come via TKO and he undoubtedly will be looking to make a splash in his home country of Scotland. Daniel Teymur is an undefeated prospect who has yet to lose in his professional MMA career. He has finished all 6 fights in his career and it has been an even split 3-3 between knockouts and submissions. The Swedish born fighter will be looking to make his debut a memorable one and continue his streak of never being out of the first round in his career. Two guys making their debut to kick off the FS1 prelims should create some fireworks. Prediction: Daniel Teymur via TKO.
The Welterweight Division is up next with “Relentless” Charlie Ward (3-2) welcoming Galore Bofando (4-2) to the UFC. Charlie Ward is coming off a tough knockout loss in his UFC debut in November of 2016. Ward has some heavy hands and will be looking to try and get his first victory in the UFC. The Straight Blast Gym trained Ward trains with some of the best fighters in the world including “The Notorious” Conor McGregor (21-3 UFC Lightweight Champion), and that experience will certainly help. Galore Bofando comes in following a TKO victory, but that came all the way back in February of 2015, and honestly could be 6-0 in his career, but has lost 2 fights due to illegal knees. He most certainly has the knockout power in his hands but needs to make sure not to use any illegal strikes to cost himself this opportunity in his UFC debut. Prediction: Galore Bofando via TKO.
The previously scheduled retirement fight for Neil “2Tap” Seery (16-12) will enter the cage for the final time on Sunday taking on Alexandre “The Cannibal” Pantoja (17-2 # 14 Ranked Flyweight). Neil Seery has been trying to have a retirement fight for what seems like a long time. The fight has been scheduled twice before and both times with Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall (13-5-1 #11 Ranked Flyweight). Each fighter pulled out once causing both fights to be canceled. So now Seery is taking the cage for what he says is the final time in Glasgow. The 37-year-old is coming off a loss in his last appearance, but will most certainly be looking to go out with a bang. He can win both on the feet and standing with no problem and expect him to leave it all out there in the cage. Pantoja competed on Season 24 of The Ultimate Fighter which saw him make the semifinals of the Flyweight Tournament of Champions. He won his UFC debut back in January and will look to build upon that against Seery. The 27 year old Brazilian has been able to finish 12 of his 17 wins and will most certainly be out for a quick finish to try and move up the ranks in the UFC’s rather wide open Flyweight division. Prediction Alexandre Pantoja via Submission.
The featured FS1 Prelim is up next as Danny “Hot Chocolate” Roberts (13-2) returns to the Octagon to take on Bobby “Nashty” Nash (8-2). Danny Roberts is coming off a grueling 3rd round knockout loss in a slugfest he had with Mike “Platinum” Perry (10-1) back in October of 2016. The loss was Roberts first inside the Octagon. Previously he had 2 victories including a technical submission victory in his UFC debut. Bobby Nash suffered a 2nd round knockout loss in his UFC debut back in January, but the American Welterweight will be looking to turn the tide and get a victory. Prior to that loss, he was riding 5 straight finishes. Nash is a heavy puncher, but you cannot sleep on his ground game either. Nash has 3 submissions to his name and will be a real test for Roberts on Sunday. Prediction: Danny Roberts via TKO.
The Heavyweight Division will kick off the FS1 main card in Glasgow with Justin “Big Pretty” Willis (4-1) taking on James “Juggernaut” Mulheron (11-1). Justin Willis was originally scheduled to make his UFC debut back at UFC 208, but thanks to the New York Athletic Commission and some issue the fight was scrapped. Instead, he will travel to Glasgow to try and break into the UFC. Since dropping his first professional fight Willis is on a 4 fight win streak that includes 3 knockouts. Willis will be looking to end this one early for sure. Mulheron is a last minute replacement for Mark “The Hand of” Godbeer (12-3) and will also be making his UFC debut. Mulheron has fought once on a prelim bout for Bellator back in July of 2016. He is riding a 4 fight win streak with 2 knockouts during that time. Mulheron has some really heavy hands, but when he hasn’t knocked his opponents out it ends up going to the judges. This one has all the makings of an early knockout. Prediction: James Mulheron via TKO.
Scotland’s own Paul “BearJew” Craig (9-1) will enter the cage in his home country against Khalil Rountree Jr. (6-2). Craig suffered his first career loss in a tough 1st round knockout back in March of 2017. Prior to that Craig had finished 8 of his first 9 opponents via submission and was on an absolute roll. Craig’s Jiu Jitsu skills are what got him into the UFC and if he can get back to that against Rountree we may see him get back on the winning side of things. Rountree broke his 2 fight losing streak with a wicked first round flying knee knockout back in February of 2017. The Ultimate Fighter Season 23 finalist showed an array of striking and was just relentless in securing his first UFC finish in just under 1 minute of fighting. This should be a really good matchup between the two of them. Rountree needs to avoid the submission game of Craig, and Craig needs to stay out of the knockout range of Rountree. Prediction: Khalil Rountree Jr via TKO.
The Middleweight Division is up with Jack “The Hammer” Marshman (21-6) going up against Ryan Janes (9-2). Marshman is coming off a 2nd round knockout that may have been stopped a shade early after Marshman had recovered and was protecting himself after a spinning wheel kick. Either way, Marshman has shown the ability to stand and brawl inside the UFC. Marshman has 13 career TKO’s and he will absolutely be looking to get his hands on Janes early and often. Ryan Janes suffered a submission loss his last time out in February of 2017. The submission specialist Jane will be looking to get this fight to the mat and use his Jiu Jitsu to take this fight. Marshman will absolutely have the Glasgow crowd behind him being from Wales and that will certainly have him fired up heading into the Octagon. Prediction: Jack Marshman via TKO.
Another Scottish born fighter Stevie “Braveheart” Ray (21-6) returns to the cage in front of his home supporters to take on Paul “The Irish Dragon” Felder (13-3). Ray has won 2 straight decisions over a pair of serious UFC veterans in Joe Lauzon (27-14) and Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson (21-12 1NC). It moved his record to 5-1 in the UFC. Ray is a great prospect and talent who has been able to win both on the feet and via submission. He will be willing to stand and bang which is going to be exactly what Felder will look to do. Felder rebounded from a difficult loss in September of 2016 with a first round knockout back in February. Felder is an accomplished striker who has 8 career victories via TKO. Felder will undoubtedly want to stand and keep this one on the feet. Honestly, this clearly has a great shot at competing for Fight of the Night. Prediction: Stevie Ray via Decision.
The Co-Main event of the evening is up next featuring 2 top 15 Women’s Strawweight with Joanne “JoJo” Calderwood (11-2 #8 Ranked Women’s Strawweight) does battle with rising prospect Cynthia Calvillo (5-0 #14 Ranked Women’s Strawweight). Scotland’s Joanne Calderwood the Season 20 of The Ultimate Fighter alum will be entering the cage in front of her home country crowd who will most certainly be in her corner. She will be coming off a loss to former Women’s Strawweight Title Challenger Jessica “Bate Estaca” Andrade (16-6 #4 Ranked Women’s Strawweight). Calderwood is 3-2 in the UFC including one knockout victory. For Calvillo, she has burst on to the scene in 2017 since debuting at UFC 209. She won her debut via rear naked choke and returned only 1 month later at UFC 210 to again win by rear naked choke. The Team Alpha Male member Calvillo will be looking to continue her ascent on the Women’s Strawweight Division and a victory over Calderwood could put her one fight away from title contention. This is a big step up in competition, but Calvillo has been ready when called upon so far in her UFC career. Prediction: Cynthia Calvillo via Submission.
The Straight Blast Gym fighter Gunnar “Gunni” Nelson (16-2-1 #8 Ranked Welterweight) will be the fans choice in the main event as he takes on Argentina’s Santiago “Gente Boa” Ponzinibbio (24-3 # 14 Ranked Welterweight) in a Top 15 Welterweight clash. Gunnar Nelson is one of the most skilled Jiu Jitsu fighters on the planet today. He is 7-2 in the Octagon with 6 of those victories being via submission. Nelson will undoubtedly look to get this fight to the ground and use the ground skills he has to take home the victory in front of what will be a raucous crowd. Ponzinibbio is 6-2 in the UFC and riding a 4 fight win streak that has gotten him into the Top 15. Prior to his last 2 decision victories, he had strung together 2 straight knockouts. Ponzinibbio has 13 career knockouts in his MMA career and that could prove to be the difference against Nelson. If Ponzinibbio can keep Nelson off of him and stop his grappling game we could see an upset in the main event. Ponzinibbio also has a decent amount of submissions as well, so Nelson cannot disregard his ground game. This should be a fantastic main event, with a real chance to finish well before the 25-minute mark. Prediction: Gunnar Nelson via Submission.
Sunday cards do not happen very often, but when they are a nice surprise for UFC fans. This card has a lot of good fights, and it is one of those fights that will bring a lot of prospects to the light. Expect a very fun crowd as well, considering any time the UFC goes overseas the crowds are always super into it. This should be a fun card and it has a main event that should deliver. After a weekend marred by a cancellation of a main event, the UFC could use a really exciting free card on FS1.