UFC Fight Night 113: Gunnar Nelson vs Santiago Ponzinibbio

Date: 16th July, 2017. 8pm (BST)

Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Venue: The SSE Hydro

Gunnar Nelson vs Santiago Ponzinibbio

Ponzinibbio makes his debut on European soil which will be by far his biggest test inside the cage. The dangerous Argentinian is a powerful and accurate striker, and in winning his last four fights, is truly living up to his potential. He made quick work of Andreas Stahl and Court McGee, disposing them in the first round with a TKO finish; an impressive feat considering neither or those fighters had been knocked out in their career. He then went on to earn decision victories over Zak Cummings and Nordine Taleb, but Nelson will be a considerable step up in competition.

Although Nelson looks like he is waiting in line for a sandwich he is a dangerous fighter, one of the most dangerous in the division. He appears rather unassuming as a smaller welterweight with an ice cold and unflappable demeanour, but his incredible level of skill allows him to have his way with his opponents in a violent manner. The only occasion in which he was outclassed was against Demian Maia, who is one of the best practitioners of Jiu-Jitsu in MMA and has a considerable weight and power advantage. With two very impressive submission finishes against Albert Tumenov and Alan Jouban, the stoic Icelander may be surprised he has not earned a shot at a top contender but will still have to call upon all of his skill and experience against Ponzinibbio, who will hunt Nelson’s chin from the start.

This promises to be a captivating match-up. Ponzinibbio is an aggressive kickboxer and Nelson is a calm and clinical counter-striker and black belt in Karate. Both fighters have fight-ending power but the difference could well be on the ground. They are both black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, however Nelson is an accomplished grappler who is more than comfortable man-handling larger opponents.

See below for a statistical breakdown:

Nelson v Ponzinnibio

Joanne Calderwood vs Cynthia Calvillo

Scotland’s fighting daughter is hoping to pull off one of the biggest wins of her career and halt the emergence of the rising American star, Calvillo. Calvillo is undefeated and boasts an impressive four finishes from her five wins. Gunning to be fast-tracked towards a shot at Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s title, she is looking to cause an upset and silence the passionate Scottish fans.

Calderwood will have other ideas and will rely on all of her experience to utilise her reach to keep the fight standing and inflict her devastating Muay Thai. However, she could be in for a long night if she can’t keep the distance as Calvillo is a suffocating grappler, and with the guidance of world class team-mates at team ‘Alpha Male’, she is fully equipped to control and finish the fight on the ground.

See below for a statistical breakdown:

Jojo v Calvillo

Stevie Ray vs Paul Felder

You don’t need any imagination to know who the crowd will be behind in this clash. Stevie ‘Braveheart’ Ray is extremely well-rounded and mixes fierce striking with takedowns expertly, and is becoming a true force in a stacked division. On the back of an impressive decision win against Joe Lauzon, he has been handed a fellow fierce striker and an incredibly tough opponent.

Felder is as game as it gets and is most comfortable in brutal slugfests; a scary thought considering he is a black belt in Karate and Taekwondo as well as being well-versed in Muay Thai. He is a true crowd pleaser who will have to settle for being second favourite on the night, but is likely to gain the respect of the fans either way.

Ray will back himself to get the better of the striking exchanges but may have to rely on his grappling to unsettle Felder. However, this should be an evenly matched and hostile affair.

See below for a statistical breakdown:

Ray v Felder

Jack Marshman vs Ryan Janes

A rare Welshman appears on a UFC card, with one TKO win and one TKO loss under the promotion. Marshman takes on the Canadian, Janes, who has experienced similar joy since entering the UFC with one loss and one win. Both their losses came in their most recent fight, pushing them into this match-up in Glasgow.

Although these men have had similar experiences inside the octagon, their backgrounds couldn’t be more different. Janes is a full-time web developer and evolved into a submission expert after taking up MMA when he was 23 years old. Marshman on the other hand was born to fight. He took up MMA when he was 15 and enlisted into the army at 17, serving for 10 years. He is now a tough slugger with dangerous stand-up skills. making this a fascinating striker vs grappler contest.

See below for a statistical breakdown:

Marshman v Janes

Khalil Rountree vs Paul Craig

Another Scot who will be proudly waving the flag in the octagon, Craig will be hoping to bounce back from his sole career loss with a win over the former Ultimate Fighter contestant. Rountree is a powerful light heavyweight with good striking and wrestling, however if he has done his research, he should be hesitant to grapple with Craig.

The former Bamma champion submits opponents for fun and looked immense up until his most recent fight against Tyson Pedro. Pedro looked confident in the stand-up before stunning Craig with a straight right, and you could argue the stoppage was early but Pedro was in a dominant position which Rountree will take confidence from. He will hope he can finish the Scot in similar fashion but will have to be wary of his snake-like attacks.

See below for a statistical breakdown:

Rountree v Craig

James Mulheron vs Justin Willis

The heavyweight division needs some new stars, and perhaps Mulheron and Willis have the potential to become one of them. Neither possess the physique of a chiselled superhero, but they certainly possess the power. They are both young with only one loss to their name, and they have the tools to kick off the main card in their usual explosive fashion.

As they are both making their UFC debuts, we don’t have any striking/grappling stats to go on, so we have broken down their finishing to give you an idea of what we can expect:

Mulheron v Willis