Contributor: Nolan Howell
UFC Fight Night 140: Magny vs. Ponzinibbio brought the Octagon to Argentina for the first time in the company’s history. In the capital city, tenth-ranked welterweight and Argentinian Santiago Ponzinibbio looked to continue a six-fight win streak in the main event against eighth-ranked Neil Magny, on a two-fight win streak of his own.
Facing a tough test in a seven-inch reach advantage for Magny, Ponzinibbio got Magny against the fence early with back-and-forth footwork and landed a jab that damaged the right eye of Magny immediately. Magny spent most of the first on the fence enduring periodic blitzes from Ponzinibbio to regain some vision. Right hands at the end of the round forced Magny to shell up. Leg kicks in the second round from Ponzinibbio dropped Magny and left him with slowed movement. Despite a cut over the left eyebrow of Ponzinibbio from a headbutt, he closed the round with another jab to the eye and another knockdown via leg kicks. Magny came out aggressive in the third round and had his best round of the fight, but there was no more starch on his strikes with no leg to plant on and Ponzinibbio made him hit a flamingo stance at one point due to the continuing damage from the leg kicks. Magny’s leg was completely shot by the fourth, dropping him multiple times and leaving him only with upper-body movement in against the cage. It failed him when Ponzinibbio dove in with an overhand right that made Magny faceplant for the knockout win.
Post-fight, Ponzinibbio called out UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley after some coaxing from interviewer Jimmy Smith in a fight that makes sense off a seven-fight winning streak. Magny will likely need recovery time after such a brutal loss that could be career-changing if not managed properly.
The co-main event featured Ricardo Lamas and Darren Elkins looking to rebound from losses at featherweight. Elkins looked to have an advantage early with his typical pressure fighting, despite a head kick from Lamas
opening him up early. Elkins secured takedowns off a kick from Lamas and a power double in the first, but the direction of the fight changed in the second as Lamas continued his kicks from the outside. Lamas landed a leg kick in the second that sent Elkins spinning and grabbing at his stiffened lead left leg. Lamas went high to end the round and used the desperation pressure from Elkins in the third to score a takedown that would spell the end for Elkins. A left elbow further damaged “Damage” and Lamas stood in the guard of Elkins, picking and choosing his power punches as he lunged in. Lamas caught Elkins rolling to his knees with a series of hammerfists that forced the referee to stop the fight in the third and becoming the first fighter to stop Elkins in five years.
Khalil Rountree Jr. looked to build off a surprising TKO win over kickboxer Gokhan Saki against newcomer Johnny Walker at light heavyweight, but facing a size disadvantage, Rountree spent most of the fight on the outside. A head kick from Walker clipped Rountree and brought them together as Walker followed, allowing Walker to grab the Thai clinch. Rountree tried to punch out of it and a short right elbow from Walker sent him walking back. Walker pressed him against the cage and connected with another elbow that shut Rountree off in the first round for the most exciting finish of the night.
Cezar Ferreira got stunned by late replacement opponent Ian Heinisch in an awful showing at middleweight, unable to get anything but takedowns going over three rounds. Heinisch showed an active guard in the first round, winning the round from his back with a guillotine attempt and an armbar. A second-round knockdown in the final seconds with a chasing right hook gave Heinisch the momentum going into the third, where he popped up from takedowns and landed punches that wobbled an already-gassed Ferreira to give him the round. The judges scored the fight 30-27 and two 29-28 cards to give Heinisch the unanimous decision victory. Undercard Superstar scored the fight 30-27 in favor of Heinisch.
Ultimate Fighter: Latin America season one Team Werdum bantamweights Marlon Vera and Guido Cannetti met in a tale of two rounds. Cannetti dominated Vera in the first with the straight left, chasing him down and throwing without fear. Cannetti secured outside trips throughout the first round and looked to be on his way to dominating, but a flying knee from Vera closed the distance in the second and allowed him to grab the Thai clinch. Vera unleashed knees to the head as Cannetti looked for punches, knocking him down. Cannetti escaped a guillotine attempt, but Vera walked him down to the cage and rocked Cannetti with left uppercuts to put Cannetti down again. Cannetti was out of it and allowed a giveaway rear-naked choke to Vera for the second-round submission.
Cynthia Calvillo opened the main card against Poliana Botelho in a catchweight fight at 118 pounds after Calvillo missed weight and looked in dire condition on the scales. The weight cut didn’t seem to hurt her performance though, as catching the kicks of Botelho in the first round paid dividends. Calvillo caught a kick right into side control late in the round and opened up with elbows and knees to the body. Botelho turtled after Calvillo started landing to the head and Calvillo secured a bulldog choke from the side. Botelho tapped immediately after Calvillo got the back to give Calvillo the submission victory.
Two other submissions featured on the prelims as Michel Prazeres secured a guillotine choke submission in the first round against Bartosz Fabiński at welterweight and flyweight Alexandre Pantoja locked in a rear-naked choke in the first against Ulka Sasaki.
The rest of the prelims featured unanimous decision victories. Austin Arnett got the nod over Humberto Bandenay at featherweight, Laureano Staropoli over Hector Aldana at welterweight, Jesus Pinedo over Devin Powell at lightweight, and Nad Narimani over Anderson dos Santos at featherweight.
-Nolan can be reached @nolanundercard or at email@example.com