Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to South America this Saturday (Nov. 17, 2018) with UFC Fight Night 140, the promotion’s debut in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In the FOX Sports 1-televised main event, local son Santiago Ponzinibbio looks for his seventh consecutive victory against Neil Magny, while Ricardo Lamas squares off with Darren Elkins in the co-main event. The card will also see Khalil Rountree Jr. welcome Johnny Walker to the Octagon and Ian Heinisch step up on short notice against Cezar “Mutante.”
We’ve got six “Prelims” undercard bouts to preview and predict this time around, two on Fight Pass and four on FOX Sports 1. Let’s start with the online section.
155 lbs.: Devin Powell vs. Jesus Pinedo
Devin Powell (9-3) caught Dana White’s eye on “Lookin’ for a Fight,” setting up a debut against Drakkar Klose last year. After dropping decisions to Klose and Darrell Horcher, Powell overcame early adversity to finish Álvaro Herrera with body kicks in July.
His victories are nicely split into three knockouts, submissions and decisions apiece.
Jesus Pinedo (15-4-1) enters the Octagon on the heels of six consecutive victories, all of them stoppages. “El Mudo” has knocked out seven opponents overall and submitted four others.
He replaces teammate Claudio Puelles on late notice.
Powell has done decently well for someone with no visible athletic gifts whatsoever, but being a better version of John Gunther isn’t enough to succeed in UFC’s deepest division. Is it enough to at least get him past Pinedo, though?
Eh, probably not.
The Peruvian isn’t the most durable, but he looks to be quite a bit faster and more powerful on the feet, not to mention decent at defending takedowns. Unless the short notice gimps him, he has the tools to exploit Powell’s lack of striking craft. Powell’s combination of durability and nonexistent striking defense earn him some lumps as Pinedo’s quick hands tattoo him for 15 minutes.
Prediction: Pinedo via unanimous decision
145 lbs.: Nad Narimani vs. Anderson dos Santos
Nad Narimani (11-2) made the most of his second shot at Cage Warriors glory by dominating Paddy Pimblett to earn the promotion’s Featherweight title. He was supposed to make his UFC debut in March, but ultimately took on German prospect Khalid Taha in July, taking a decision over the hometown fighter.
“Smiler” has submitted five opponents and knocked out two others.
Anderson dos Santos (19-6) opened his career 12-1, but ran into a 4-4 stretch that saw him submit Ricky Simon for the Titan FC Bantamweight belt amid losses to the likes of Andrew Whitney and Said Nurmagomedov. “Berinja” has picked up two consecutive victories since succumbing to veteran Victor Henry, most recently pounding out Wanderlei “Mexicano” in July.
He steps in for the injured Sergio Giglio, who himself stepped in for the injured Enrique Barzola, on a week’s notice.
dos Santos is no joke despite his relatively recent struggles, boasting solid takedowns and submissions. The issue here is that he’s moving up from Bantamweight to face a big, powerful Featherweight in Narimani with a similar, but far more complete skillset. The Brit can more than hold his own in the wrestling and figures to be the more potent striker by far.
Trying to muscle around Narimani is going to be downright exhausting, and dos Santos has been finished in five of those six losses. Expect the Brazilian to try to push the pace early, only for Narimani’s takedown defense and punching power to wear him down until he leaves his neck open.
Prediction: Narimani via second-round submission
Four more UFC Fight Night 140 “Prelims” undercard bouts to preview and predict tomorrow, capped off by a clash of Welterweight grinding specialists. See you then, Maniacs!
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 140 fight card this weekend, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” undercard bout at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the FOX Sports 1 “Prelims” undercard bouts at 8 p.m. ET, before the main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.