UFC Fight Night 140 was supposed to be headlined by a competitive showdown between Santiago Ponzinibbio and Neil Magny.
The fight was anything but.
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In his backyard of Argentina, Ponzinibbio walked through Magny, chopped down his left leg and waited for the perfect moment to score a devastating knockout in the fourth round of the FS1-broadcast main card at Parque Roca Arena in Buenos Aires. The victory was Ponzinibbio’s seventh in a row as the Argentinean staked his claim as one of the best welterweights in the UFC. Being paired with Magny meant a step up in competition against an opponent who was long, rangy and durable. Ponzinibbio negated all of those advantages from the opening bell.
Magny and his distinct reach advantage were tossed aside early as Ponzinibbio stifled the jab with one of his own. Early on, Ponzinibbio flashed a quick jab that affected Magny’s eye. From there, the hard-hitting Ponzinibbio decided to take aim at Magny’s lead leg and chopped at it with a hard calf kick that wore his opponent down. After the first couple of rounds, it was evident that Magny needed to switch up his game plan as both Ponzinibbio’s jab and leg kicks were racking up points and piling on the damage. The kicks that initially hobbled Magny were now sweeping him off of his feet. Instead of trying to finish the fight with those kicks, Ponzinibbio opted to use Magny’s lack of mobility to set him up for a highlight-reel finish.
By the time the fourth round started, Magny’s movement was compromised and Ponzinibbio mixed the occasional leg kick with some head hunting. With referee Herb Dean being close to stopping the fight due to Magny’s struggling to remain upright, Ponzinibbio swarmed in and finally landed a crushing right hand that sent Magny to the canvas face first.
With Magny unconscious, Ponzinibbio didn’t need to land follow-up strikes as Dean halted the fight at the 2:36 mark.
The victory puts Ponzinibbio in the thick of the welterweight title hunt and he will likely fight a top-five opponent for his next bout.
Elsewhere on the card . . .
- Ricardo Lamas punished Darren Elkins en route to a third-round TKO with some vicious ground and pound.
- Johnny Walker’s UFC debut was a major upset as he sank Khalil Rountree in one round. A short elbow in the clinch dropped Rountree in just under two minutes and a follow-up strike completely turned the lights out on him.
- Cynthia Calvillo’s weight scare didn’t hamper her performance as she secured a rear naked choke in the first round against Poliana Botelho.