Michel Pereira and Santiago Ponzinibbio squared off in a Welterweight contest earlier tonight (Sat., May 21, 2022) from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ponzinibbio’s pressure met Pereira’s lateral footwork to begin the contest, but an eye poke from Ponzinibbio stalled the action. Pereira cracked his opponent with a heavy overhand preceded by the jab. Ponzinibbio continued to advance but struggled to land punches. He did find a home for a few low kicks, however. Pereira answered with snappy front kicks. Pereira showed off good head movement when Ponzinibbio did back him into the fence. Another big right hand connected for Pereira and stunned his opponent briefly. Ponzinibbio recovered and ripped a couple kicks. Near the end of the round, Pereira landed a couple more counter punches and front kicks to the mid-section.
All in all, the opening round was a strong one for the Brazilian.
Pereira advanced early in the second, firing a big 1-2 down the middle. Pereira touched the body with punches then dug a round kick to the torso. Outside of the low kick, Ponzinibbio just couldn’t land much, and a counter jab from Pereira stunned him. Ponzinibbio finally found a decent right on the counter. Pereira returned the favor moments later, and the fight started to heat up more as Ponzinibbio landed a huge left hook ... then two more! Stiff jab from Pereira landed cleanly. Pereira marched forward with a combination and finished with a punt to the belly. Ponzinibbio switched it up with a successful double leg takedown in the closing seconds of the second, though it didn’t amount to much control time.
Pereira opened the final frame with a nice salvo of kicks and a big right hand connection. The two were trading, and Ponzinibbio just missed a major left hook swing. Pereira snuck a few body punches into his attack. Ponzinibbio ripped a few more low kicks. Back-and-forth they went, and both men were landing at a pretty solid clip! Ponzinibbio’s punches opened up the Brazilian a bit. Pereira kept the body work up to good effect. With a minute left, both men were bleed, fatigued, and firing big shots! The fight devolved into a hugely entertaining brawl, with both men wobbling around the cage a bit off-balance as punches were exchanged.
Both men kept their feet to the final bell, leaving the call to the judges. Two of the three judges named Pereira the victor, and he’ll likely have a number alongside his name next week!
Result: Michel Pereira defeats Santiago Ponzinibbio via split-decision
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