November 23, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

Ponzinibbio stuns Nelson at UFC Fight Night in Glasgow

ARGENTINE welterweight fighter Santiago “Gente Boa” Ponzinibbio made it a successful foray in Scotland yesterday, stunning Iceland’s Gunnar “Gunni” Nelson with a first-round knockout at “UFC Fight Night 113” in Glasgow.

Currently outside of the top 10 in the division, Mr. Ponzinibbio underscored what he is capable of by making short work of higher-ranked Nelson, knocking out the latter in just one minute and 22 seconds of Octagon time.

Also emerging victorious was American Cynthia Calvillo, who beat hometown bet Joanne “Jojo” Calderwood by unanimous decision in the co-main event.

Eighth-ranked Nelson actually started well, hurting Mr. Ponzinibbio (#14) with a solid combination and a left hand early in the fight.

But Mr. Ponzinibbio would survive and eventually showed his power by hitting Mr. Nelson with a direct right to the jaw that immediately staggered the latter.

Sensing that he had his opponent at the brink of defeat, the Argentine fighter went for the finish, raining Mr. Nelson with a series of punches and a solid left hand that put the lights out on the fight at the 1:22 mark of the opening round.

The victory was the fifth straight for Mr. Ponzinibbio (25-3), who wasted no time trumpeting his stock in the division.

“I’m the best striker in this division. I’m the next champion in this division. Come on UFC I’m ready for my next fight. I’m ready for anyone,” said Mr. Ponzinibbio, who is eyeing to make his way up and get a shot at the gold currently held by champion Tyron Woodley.

On the part of Mr. Nelson, who dropped to 16-3-1 after the loss, he rued the lost opportunity and the wrong read he had on the fight.

“I thought I hurt him and had him on the run. But I had it wrong and I think that was the biggest mistake in this fight,” said Mr. Nelson after, even as he claimed to have been poked in the eye that hampered his vision.

Much like Mr. Ponzinibbio, Ms. Calvillo had the hometown fans dejected after beating their bet Calderwood by unanimous decision in their scheduled three-rounder, 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28.

The fight between Misses Calvillo and Calderwood at the catchweight of 118 lbs. was pretty even in the first two rounds and was settled in the third as the former just did enough to convince the judges to go her way, including putting Ms. Calderwood on her back and going for a choke before the bell sounded.

Ms. Calvillo (6-0) remained undefeated in her pro mixed martial arts career with her latest win while Ms. Calderwood (11-2) dropped to her second defeat in as many fights.

In other fights at UFC Fight Night 113, lightweight Paul Felder defeated Stevie Ray by knockout in the first round; middleweight Jack Marshman decisioned Ryan Janes (29-28, 29-28 and 29-28); light heavyweight Khalil Rountree downed Paul Craig by KO in the opening round; and heavyweight Justin Willis won by unanimous decision over James Mulheron (30-27, 30-27 and 30-27).

Next for the UFC is “UFC on Fox” that will be headlined by the clash of middleweights Chris Weidman and Kevin Gastelum in New York on July 23 (Manila time).

In the Philippines, Cignal TV, the country’s foremost direct-to-home (DTH) company, is the home of the UFC after the two groups agreed to an extensive deal that will see the UFC beamed on various platforms. -- Michael Angelo S. Murillo