Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight talents Santiago Ponzinibbio and Neil Magny will clash TONIGHT (Nov. 17, 2018) inside Parque Roca Arena in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Ponzinibbio joined the Welterweight roster after a stint on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Latin American, lost two of his first four fights, and most thought that was about the end of “Gente Boa.” Instead, the Argentinian athlete ripped off a violent six-fight win streak, climbing into the ranks and pushing himself toward the title mix. Magny is no stranger to lengthy win streaks himself, though at this point the 31-year-old is no longer the rising prospect. Instead, Magny is now the well-rounded veteran, still hoping to break into title contention and ward off the more recent additions to Top 15.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
Key Wins: Gunnar Nelson (UFC Fight Night 113), Mike Perry (UFC on FOX 26), Sean Strickland (UFC Fight Night 61), Zak Cummings (UFC Fight Night 92), Nordine Taleb (UFC Fight Night 105)
Key Losses: Lorenz Larkin (UFC Fight Night 70), Ryan LaFlare (UFC Fight Night 32)
Keys to Victory: Ponzinibbio is a great offensive talent. An aggressive kickboxer with a mean jab and great work rate, Ponzinibbio is one of the division’s best action fighters and he’s on a legitimate run towards the title.
He’s a ton of fun to watch.
In this match up, the biggest key to victory for Ponzinibbio is to start quickly. Throughout his entire career, it’s rare that Magny loses a decision — he throws too many long jabs and is too effective a wrestler to be easily outpaced. Instead, when Magny is defeated, it tends to happen in dramatic fashion and quickly.
Ponzinibbio has the superior boxing and punching power by a considerable degree. While he’s fresh, Magny will have a seriously difficult time taking him down. As such, there will be a considerable period at the start of this fight that is very likely a kickboxing match. That’s Ponzinibbio’s opportunity to score an early knockout or at least do major damage and build a lead.
Key Wins: Kelvin Gastelum (UFC Fight Night 78), Johny Hendricks (UFC 207), Hector Lombard (UFC Fight Night 85), Carlos Condit (UFC 219)
Key Losses: Demian Maia (UFC 190), Rafael dos Anjos (UFC 215), Lorenz Larkins (UFC 202)
Keys to Victory: There is nowhere in the Octagon that Magny is uncomfortable. A rangy boxer with great clinch takedowns and an underrated top game, Magny’s best attribute remains his ability to push a hell of pace. Given 25 minutes to work, that could be especially important.
Another important edge on the side of Magny is his seven inch reach advantage. Ponzinibbio relies greatly on the jab, and that’s difficult to do against a considerably longer fighter. Given that extra reach, Magny’s goal should be to avoid the pocket, operating either all the way out at range or inside the clinch.
At range, Magny should be looking to pop Ponzinibbio with straight shots and frustrate him, denying the Argentinian an easy target. When Ponzinibbio ramps up the aggression and tries to combo his way forward, that’s an opportunity for Magny to duck down into the clinch.
Once there, consistent grinding along the fence and working for takedowns should limit his foe’s effectiveness.
Bottom Line: Both contenders are on the fringe of the title mix, trying to break through.
Both men are very close. At one point, each was scheduled to face Kamaru Usman in what would likely be a title eliminator match up. That match up never materialized for either fighter, but luckily a victory should be the last one required to receive a top five opponent — potentially with a title shot on the line — next.
There are definite stakes on the line here. For Ponzinibbio, his six-fight win streak was hard-fought and brought him to this point, so an end to that series of victories would stall his momentum considerably. The situation is perhaps even riskier for Magny, who already has a a couple losses to the top of the division and cannot afford any more.
Title implications and two very active fighters, what more could you want?
At UFC Fight Night 140, Santiago Ponzinibbio and Neil Magny will square off in the main event. Which man will remain standing when the dust settles?
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 140 fight card tomorrow night (click here), 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, also on FOX Sports 1.
To see who else is fighting at UFC Argentina click here.