It’s grappler vs. striker this Sunday (July 16, 2017) as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Glasgow, Scotland, with a pair of Welterweight finishers at the helm. Icelandic grappling sensation Gunnar Nelson faces Argentine bomber Santiago Ponzinibbio in the main event, while local heroine Joanne Calderwood attempts to halt the rise of Cynthia Calvillo one fight prior.
Earlier on the FOX Sports 1-televised main card, Scotland’s Stevie Ray squares off with Paul Felder at Lightweight and Welsh knockout artist Jack Marshman looks to build off of his upset knockout of Magnus Cedenblad against Ryan Janes.
UFC Fight Night 113’s “Prelims” undercard is split 4:2 between FOX Sports 1 and Fight Pass. Check out the latter below, which kick off at noon ET:
135 lbs.: Brett Johns vs. Albert Morales
Wales’ Brett Johns (13-0) earned belts in both Cage Warriors and Titan FC before making the jump to the world’s largest fighting organization back in Nov. 2016. “The Pikey” impressed the Belfast crowd with a decision over the gutsy Kwan Ho Kwak, keeping his undefeated record intact.
He owns four wins by submission and another two by (technical) knockout.
Albert Morales (7-1-1) got no softballs in his first two UFC appearances, drawing with Alejandro Perez in his debut before falling to Thomas Almeida two months later. Another quick turnaround saw him face CES champion Andre Soukhamthath at UFC 209 and take a split decision over the heavy-handed UFC debutant.
“The Warrior” steps in for the injured Mitch Gagnon on two weeks’ notice.
Johns vs. Gagnon was a pretty interesting stylistic match up just based on Gagnon’s physicality and prowess with the guillotine. Johns vs. Morales, while not a bad fight by any stretch of the imagination, lacks that sort of intrigue. Though Morales is a dangerous and effective striker, he doesn’t have the toolset to shut down Johns’ relentless takedowns.
And if you can’t stop those, well, you’re not beating Johns.
“The Pikey” is tough enough to take anything Morales can dish out and skilled enough to put him on his back and keep him there whenever he starts to kindle any momentum. Johns grinds his way to a dominant victory.
Prediction: Johns via unanimous decision
135 lbs.: Leslie Smith vs. Amanda Lemos
After defeating Rin Nakai, Leslie Smith (9-7-1) stepped up in weight to face Cris Cyborg at UFC 198 and came up short against the Brazilian slugger. Still an underdog, she came up big against Invicta prospect Irene Aldana seven months later and earned “Fight of the Night” in the process.
“The Peacemaker” stands five inches taller than Amands Lemos (6-0-1) at 5’9.”
Lemos dispatched her first five opponents inside the first round, knocking out four and earning the Jungle Fight Bantamweight Championship along the way. A draw with Mayra Cantuaria slowed her rise, but Lemos settled the score with a brutal knee in the third round of their rematch. “Amandinha” replaces Lina Länsberg on less than a month’s notice.
Lemos is definitely a quality signing. She’s got legitimate fight-ending power in her hands and knows how to put her weight behind each strike. That said, I have a hard time picking anyone short of “Cyborg” over Leslie Smith in a brawl and I doubt Lemos has the composure to avoid one.
Compounding the Brazilian’s issues is the massive height disparity. Smith isn’t terribly adept at using it, of course, but she can do damage at range and those long limbs let her dig in ferocious body shots. Lemos simply doesn’t have enough firepower to out-slug Smith and that persistent body work will sap her speed edge soon enough. Expect Lemos to find the mark early with her favored straight right and right high kick before Smith’s size and pressure wear her down.
Prediction: Smith via third-round technical knockout
Four more UFC Fight Night 113 “Prelims” fights to preview and predict tomorrow, including the Octagon debut of David Teymur’s brother and what could be Neil Seery’s final fight. See you then, Maniacs!
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 113’s fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. ET, before the FOX Sports 1 undercard that begins at 1 p.m. ET and then the FOX Sports 1 main card start time at 3 p.m. ET.