It was not a night to remember for those who called Scotland home at UFC Fight Night 113. Those they were fighting, however, will surely be able to say different.
Justin Willis picked up a W in his promotional debut. Khalil Rountree stunned a hometown favorite. Jack Marshman bloodied his way past Ryan Janes. Paul Felder crushed a rising contender. Cynthia Calvillo likely cemented the end of Joanne Calderwood’s run at 115. Santiago Ponzinibbio finally forced the world to take notice.
FanRag Sports offers its report card for those who earned a raised hand on the UFC Fight Night 113 main card. Grades are determined based on overall performance, method of victory and quality of opponent. We’ll also look at what should be next for the night’s biggest winners.
Justin Willis: C
James Mulheron appeared to have a decent gameplan going into this fight, opting to keep his distance and use his feints to move into range. That worked for a bit of the opening round, but once his gas tank started to empty, his crafty range-controlling tactics all but disappeared.https://wpdeveloper.net/go/TCM-Setup
Justin Willis was clearly the more effective competitor in this one, controlling the fight with a higher volume of strikes and a handful of point-scoring takedowns. He never came close to finishing the fight, which may be disappointing for those who were eager to see the latest American Kickboxing Academy product make a sizable splash in his promotional debut.
FRS matchmaker: Justin Willis vs. Rashad Coulter
Khalil Rountree: A
In what appeared to be a matchup tailor-made for Paul Craig look good in front of a raucous home crowd, Khalil Rountree brought his own script. He was understandably confident with his hands from the moment the fight kicked off, knowing Craig had little chance of winning a standup affair. Craig needed to take this fight to the ground, not only to escape Rountree’s biggest advantages, but to shed light on some of his own as a grappling specialist.
But Rountree never let this fight get to the ground, defending a pair of takedown attempts that allowed him to heighten what was already a tall amount of confidence. He kept his hands low, and his head forward, but never so much as got clipped against Craig in the opening round. Craig was just a few seconds away from making it to Round 2, before a powerful uppercut from Rountree put the hometown hero away.
FRS matchmaker: Khalil Rountree vs. Henrique da Silva
Jack Marshman: C+/B-
Ryan Janes initially attempted to keep his opponent at bay, backpedaling throughout most of the night in order to avoid Jack Marshman’s heavy punches. But Janes’ footwork was limited at best, often being right inside the danger zone where Marshman often thrives. Throwing power straight hands one after another, Marshman snapped Janes’ head back often enough to earn the nod in the first two rounds.
But Marshman’s approach didn’t come without a great deal of risk, putting himself in blatant danger any time he opted to lunge his way into range. And while he was successful in fending off Janes’ takedown attempts in the first two rounds, a lengthy third-round clinch is what prevented him from earning the perfect unanimous nod from the judges.
FRS matchmaker: Jack Marshman vs. Gerald Meerschaert
Paul Felder: A
Facing a more well-rounded fighter in Stevie Ray, Paul Felder did his best to highlight where he stood tallest. He was aggressive in the opening minutes of the fight, showcasing the striking arsenal that’s made him a fan favorite nine fights into his UFC career.
As expected, Ray tied things up against “The Irish Dragon” to slow things down a bit. He had some success in merely stifling Felder’s offense for a bit but eventually started giving way to short, powerful elbows. Those are what paved the way for a vicious knee from Felder, who floored Ray with several minutes left in the round. Ray appeared to be on his way toward surviving the onslaught, but a trio of devastating elbows connected onto his face to effectively end his night in violent fashion.
FRS matchmaker: Paul Felder vs. Jim Miller
Cynthia Calvillo: B-
Easily the biggest prospect in the UFC’s strawweight division, Cynthia Calvillo finally went to the judges Sunday in Glasgow. She wasn’t nearly as aggressive as she’s been in previous fights, largely due to the fact that she was sharing the cage with the most talented opponent of her pro career. Her scrappy striking abilities weren’t on full display here, as Joanne Calderwood controlled most of the striking with long strikes to keep Calvillo away.
What was most surprising in this fight was how rarely Calvillo tried to bring this fight to the ground. She may have been confident in her striking, bloodying Calderwood up in the second round, but she had a massive advantage on the canvas. Those skills surfaced at the end of both Rounds 1 and 3, with the final frame ending in a rear-naked choke that easily would have forced the tap had the fight been scheduled for 15 minutes and 10 seconds.
FRS matchmaker: Cynthia Calvillo vs. Carla Esparza
Santiago Ponzinibbio: A
It didn’t appear to be going well for Santiago Ponzinibbio at first, but the Argentinian-born fighter pulled through in emphatic fashion. “Gente Boa” was clipped a pair of times in the opening minute of the fight, unable to time Gunnar Nelson’s crafty movements.
But as Nelson moved in for an exchange, he was forced off balance, paving the way for a short left hook that altered the fate of this contest for good. Ponzinibbio stormed after Nelson after the initial punch, eventually landing another straight hand that put Nelson out for good. The biggest opportunity of Ponzinibbio’s career — by virtue of both the man he was facing and the headlining honors — ended in what can only be seen as a coming-out party.
He should find himself ranked within the top 10 of the division by the time they’re updated this week, prompting bigger challenges in the days to come.
FRS matchmaker: Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Dong Hyun Kim