UFC Glasgow: Nelson vs. Ponzinibbio Main Card Results and Recap

Gunnar Nelson UFC Glasgow UFC 231
Credit: Ciarán Maher/Sherdog.com

UFC Fight Night 113 went down Sunday night (afternoon for those of us in North America) live from the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Scotland. The main event of UFC Glasgow featured welterweights Gunnar Nelson and Santiago Ponzinibbio squaring off, with Nelson looking to run his winning streak up to three straight.

In the co-main event, Joanne Calderwood faced off against Cynthia Calvillo, in a fight that may have been JoJo’s last in the strawweight ranks. Despite her #8 place spot in the UFC’s official strawweight rankings, Calderwood, who looked sharp a year ago in a flyweight scrap against Valerie Letourneau, missed weight coming into the strawweight tilt against Calvillo. She’d likely be a real threat at flyweight once the division was live, meaning UFC Glasgow might have been her 115lb swan song.

Also on the card, lightweight Stevie Ray fought out his contract against the always dangerous Paul Felder.

Check back come fight time for a full recap of all the main card action, and results!

James Mulheron vs. Justin Willis

A heavyweight showdown between James Mulheron and Justin Willis opened the main card action in Glasgow. Willis weighed in just under the limit at 264lbs. Mulheron opened with a couple of leg kicks, while Willis controlled the octagon and landed some leg kicks of his own. Both men were looking to find their range early. By mid-round Mulheron had a cut opened up under the eye. Willis then ducked under and landed a takedown, working from half guard. Mulheron worked back up, but risked giving up his back before using the fence to turn forwards. The pair traded shots, with Mulheron going to the body. Willis landed a counter left that caught Mulheron, but he seemed to take it well. That took us to the end of the round.

Mulheron and Willis flashed superman punches and spinning attacks to open the second round. Willis landed another counter left early. Another superman punch was launched by Mulheron. The pair exchanged kicks, with Mulheron going to the body. Both men were still surprisingly light on their feet at the halfway point of the bout. Mulheron countered a Willis punch with a sharp spinning back fist. A second attempt at that attack opened him up for a takedown, however, and Willis took him to the mat. In half guard, Willis looked to grab an arm, but Mulheron was able avoid giving it up. Willis remained on top however, and Willis began dropping punches for the top with one of Mulheron’s arms trapped. Willis would run out of time however.

The third round opened with a Willis leg kick. Mulheron, possibly down two rounds on the scorecards, was doing a little head hunting. There was less action in the third, as the two hulking fighters finally began to tire. Mulheron pressed forward throughout much of the round, and they clinched around the two minute mark, with Willis’ corner urging him not to settle and get off the cage. Mulheron landed a couple of good shots to the body, but Willis reversed position, then dropped down and landed a takedown. Mulheron worked back to his feet, and they continued in the clinch until just before the round’s end, with Mulheron launching a few final shots off the break.

Justin Willis def. James Mulheron by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Khalil Rountree vs. Paul Craig

Fighting in his home country, Paul Craig looked to bounce-back from the first loss of his career, which came at the hands (elbows) of Tyson Pedro at UFC 209. Khalil Rountree can relate, as his last defeat came to Pedro, a submission loss in November of last year. The trio of Rountree, Craig, and Pedro are some of the light heavyweight division’s best prospects, in a weight class desparate for new names. A win for either Rountree or Craig puts them back in the running for a spot in the top-15 in the official UFC fighter rankings.

In the first Rountree controlled the center of the Octagon, forcing Craig to shuffle along the cage for the majority of the round. Connecting on a couple of heavy combinations while being the much more aggressive party, Rountree quieted the initially-loud crowd pulling for Craig. Rountree continued to look more comfortable as the round went on, as he found his range and outclassed Craig standing up.

That fact was emphasized late in the round, with Craig once again backed up against the fence. After blocking a left headkick, Craig was unable to react to a quick right from Rountree, dropping the Scotsman. Rountree immediately reacted with several hammer fists, forcing the referee to stop the fight and giving him the victory with just a few seconds remaining in the first round.

Khalil Rountree def. Paul Craig by KO (punches) at 4:56 of R1

Jack Marshman vs. Ryan Janes

Both Marshman and Janes are coming off of the first loss of their UFC careers, with matching 1-1 records in MMA’s premier promotion. The line of talented contenders in the 185-pound weight class is only growing, and while suffering back-to-back losses isn’t never in a fighter’s best interests, that fact is magnified in the middleweight division.

Both fighters came out strong, with Marshman controlling the pace while Janes used his movement and reach to try and keep distance. As the round continued, Marshman landed the stronger punches, while Janes landed a few of his own at a less consistent rate. It was Marshman getting the better of Janes in the exchanges in the first round, with each fighter proving their worth.

The second round had a lot less action than the first, but the story was similar. Marshman was able to control where the fight went, landed the better punches, and forced Janes to try to clinch for the majority of the end of the round. Janes was successful with some of his dirty boxing, didn’t do enough to decisively win the round. While he didn’t do a lot, Marshman did more than Janes, likely giving him the two-round advantage heading into the final frame.

By the third round, both fighter’s hands were low, as they traded shots regularly throughout the final five minutes. Janes looked the fresher fighter, while utilizing his chin as a way to get pressure Marshman late. More effective throughout the third round, Janes gave the judges something to think about as they entered their decisions. Another close round between Marshman and Janes, who threw 240 and 230 total strikes respectively throughout the fight, led to a unanimous decision victory for Marshman (29-28×3).

Jack Marshman def. Ryan Janes by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Stevie Ray vs. Paul Felder

Another Scottish fighter attempted to showcase his talents in front of his compatriots on Sunday, when Stevie Ray looked for his third straight win in the loaded UFC lightweight division. His opponent, Paul Felder, is a testament to just how tough the 155-pound weight class is. A winner of three of his last four bouts, Felder is as tough as they come, and the combination of the two is “Fight of the Night” kind of stuff.

With the crowd behind him, Ray landed some leg-kicks early, working for a takedown and eventually pushing Felder against the cage. Doggedly working for position, the duo battled along the fence in the clinch until a left-knee from Felder landed clean on Ray’s chin. Dropping Ray to the ground, Felder attempted to finish the fight, but was unable to land a series of clean punches while the Scotsman recovered.

The recovery didn’t last long, as Felder’s aggression never waned. Holding position in the guard of the still-dazed Ray, the Philadelphia-native landed a few ferocious right elbows, knocking Ray out, forcing the referee to stop the fight, and earning Felder his second win of 2017.

Paul Felder def. Stevie Ray by KO (elbows) at 3:57 of R1

Joanne Calderwood vs. Cynthia Calvillo

The #14 ranked Cynthia Calvillo brought her 5-0 record to Scotland for fight the toughtest fight of her career, against hometown favorite and #8 ranked Joanne Calderwood at UFC Glasgow. After earning victories on the main card of both UFC 209 and UFC 210, Calvillo was looking for a marquee win to add to her resumé. Calderwood already had a few of those, although her last bout was a submission loss to strawweight standout Jessica Andrade at UFC 203. The return got off to to a rough start, as Calderwood missed weight, making the fight a catchweight bout at 118 pounds.

The first round saw Calderwood controlling the center of the Octagon for the first few minutes, stuffing the first takedown attempt from Calvillo. There was lots of movement, and not much else, with Calvillo darting in for combinations and Calderwood pressing forward. Then, in the final minute, Calvillo landed the first takedown of the bout, and a scramble on the ground saw Calderwood defending well from a rear-naked-choke at first, and an armbar later, as the round expired.

With the crowd reinvigorated, the second round began much like the first, with Calderwood keeping distance with kicks while pressing forward. Calvillo continued to attempt quick combinations, and found more success in the second round than in the first, bloodying Calderwood’s nose. Calderwood continued to chase, as Calvillo’s impressive footwork and movement made her a difficult target throughout the round.

The final round began with the bout potentially going either direction, as Calderwood kept kicking Calvillo, neutralizing much of the prospect’s stand-up attack. While Calvillo’s striking wasn’t the most impressive aspect of her performance, her movement and ability to avoid Calderwood’s strikes meant much of the Scotswoman’s efforts were wasted.

With around 30 second remaining in the round, Calvilllo scored her second takedown of the fight, taking Calderwood’s back and going for the submission finish as the horn sounded to end the fight. It wasn’t as decisive as her previous performances, but Calvillo once again impressed and kept her undefeated streak intact with a unanimous decision victory (30-27×2, 29-28). Calvillo became the first fighter with three wins in 2017, and continued her upward trajectory in the strawweight division.

Cynthia Calvillo def. Joanne Calderwood by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Gunnar Nelson vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio

Rebounding from his unanimous decision loss to Demian Maia at UFC 194 with back-to-back wins, Gunnar Nelson is back on-track toward a welterweight title-shot. Currently ranked #8 in the official UFC rankings, a win over the #14 ranked Santiago Ponzinibbio would only add to his already impressive credentials. Ponzinibbio came into the bout on a four-fight winning streak of his own, having lost just three times in his 27-fight career.

In his first main event fight since October of 2014, Nelson started with an early flurry from his recognizable wide karate-based stance. After landing a couple of strikes and taking the center of the Octagon, Ponzinibbio pushed forward, and stunned Nelson with a right hook right on the chin at the 1:14 mark of the first round. With Nelson dazed and wobbling toward the fence, Ponzinibbio grabbed his opponent, stood him up, and delivered a straight left that dropped Nelson for good. The referee couldn’t stop the fight soon enough, giving Ponzinibbio his fifth consecutive victory, the second longest such streak in the UFC’s welterweight division.

Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Gunnar Nelson by KO (punches) at 1:22 of R1

UFC Glasgow (UFC Fight Night 113) Main Card  Results:

Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Gunnar Nelson by KO (punches) at 1:22 of R1
Cynthia Calvillo def. Joanne Calderwood by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Paul Felder def. Stevie Ray by KO (elbows) at 3:57 of R1
Jack Marshman def. Ryan Janes by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Khalil Rountree def. Paul Craig by KO (punches) at 4:56 of R1
Justin Willis def. James Mulheron by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)