So The UFC’s second and last trip to Great Britain this year is all wrapped up and despite some doubts heading into this event about the marketability and quality of the fighters on the card, absolutely none of the fights disappointed. I feel almost bad having to exclude some fights that on any other fight card would’ve probably been worth a mention but compared to some of the greatness and downright bizarreness that was on display in Glasgow yesterday, they just don’t make the cut.
A 25-Year Old Puts on a Veteran Performance
Brett Johns showed experience and craft well beyond his years yesterday by sticking to a gameplan and executing it flawlessly. He didn’t seem troubled during the fight and although things were pretty even on the feet, he absolutely dominated the wrestling and grappling exchanges. Johns clearly knew from the outset that standing and trading wasn’t going to guarantee him victory but dragging Morales into his world certainly would, he even had the presence of mind to listen to his corner and not get sucked into a brawl when he was two rounds up in a three round fight. Definitely someone to watch for the future of the Bantamweight division as he maintains an unbeaten record and should really earn a shot at a ranked opponent next.
Daniel Teymur Has The Heart of a Lion
It was a strong start and considering Teymur had six first-round finishes under his belt, it was exactly what was expected but once he was taken into unknown territory by Danny Henry, it all went south quite fast. Danny Henry put on a very strong display of both striking and grappling in the final two rounds and deserves a step up in competition, against a different fighter he probably would’ve gotten a finish too. Credit where it’s due, Teymur survived through getting rocked on the feet and getting knocked down, two submission attempts and some heavy ground and pound that nearly resulted in a TKO. All of that was just in the second round. The third round just brought him more of the same, thunderous ground and pound and a few nice attempts at setting up chokes from a few different positions. Teymur held on through sheer will and determination to take the loss by unanimous decision instead and showed a big heart to go along with some good stand up skills.
This was probably the most bizarre point of the evening when Charlie Ward went for a slick outside trip from the clinch and ended up being countered with what can only be described as “throwing another person face-first into the floor” and was out cold as a result. Galore Bofando now has a solid start to his highlight reel and UFC Glasgow got another testament to the rule that “Anything can happen in MMA”.
Jack Marshman Brings it Home
Being welsh, there were high stakes going into this event but just like the last time the only two Welshmen in the UFC fought on the same card, they both came through with strong performances. Marshman made the height and reach advantage Ryan Janes had look like absolutely nothing for the first two rounds of the fight and although he faded in the third and hung on a little when Janes tried to mount a comeback, he still did enough to win the decision and join Brett Johns in post-fight celebrations.
Santiago Ponzibbio Makes a Massive Statement
Although Gunnar Nelson was the clear favourite coming into this fight, the Ponz didn’t seem at all fazed by being the underdog either during the build-up or during the fight itself. It took him just 82 seconds to send a left straight into Nelson’s chin and leave him staring at the ceiling, just waiting for the right hand coming immediately behind it. This was the first time anyone has finished him and as a result, don’t be surprised to see Ponzinibbio working his way into another top-ten match at Welterweight in the immediate future.
And The Rest…
Neil Seery Goes Out on His Shield
I’m making this clear now, this was in no way a low-point in the evening but to be honest, there really wasn’t many and this was the only point I felt any sadness at. This was Seery’s final fight in MMA and to have him enter it opposite Alexandre Pantoja just showed two things, the UFC is never going to stop feeding it’s aging fighters to younger super-prospects and Neil Seery is never going to back down from a challenge. Coming in off a ten-fight winning streak, Pantoja was always the favourite in this fight but Seery never stopped coming at him and landed nearly as much as Pantoja did until he was submitted in the final round. He closes out his career at 16-13 having met a fair few flyweight top contenders along the way and with plenty of experiences to show for it.
Paul Craig Eats Some Hammerfists Hendo Would be Proud of
But that wouldn’t have necessarily been a bad thing if it wasn’t for Khalil Rountree’s pretty excessive post-fight reactions, standing over a recovering opponent while ringside doctors rush to attend them is not great. It was in no way a bad performance but he showed what many would call poor sportsmanship when he could have done a million other things to celebrate beating someone he clearly must have some genuine distaste for. He should still be given a bigger name at light-heavyweight as he showed off some terrifying power in a division that desperately needs a few young challengers.
The Scots Lose The Whole Event 4-1
After Khalil Rountree turned the tables on the home nation to bring them 2-1 down, things just went from bad to worse for local supporters when Paul Felder absolutely battered Stevie Ray with relentless ground and pound elbows following up from wobbling him on the feet inside the first four minutes. The final Scottish person to suffer defeat was far less clear-cut, plenty of fans in the stadium clearly disagreed with it at least, Joanne Calderwood lost a closely-contested decision against Cynthia Calvillo. This fight was a surprisingly back and forth fight, Calderwood getting the best of the second round with a knockdown from a teep kick and wobbling her with a counter hook while Calvillo nearly finished her with an armbar and a rear-naked choke after taking the fight to the ground with authority in the first and third rounds of the fight respectively.
All in All…
UFC Glasgow completely over-delivered, there wasn’t a boring fight anywhere and there were so many contenders for post-fight bonuses to pick from that I wouldn’t envy that job last night. I’d say this event definitely turned out better than the UFC’s show in London earlier this year and should make a good case for making Glasgow an annual trip.