Magny vs. Ponzinibbio
On Saturday the UFC will make its first voyage into Argentina when UFC Fight Night 140 takes place in Buenos Aires. Headlining this event will be a welterweight clash between Neil Magny and Santiago Ponzinibbio. Ponzinibbio will be the hometown favorite as the 32-year-old striker was born in La Plata, Argentina. He is the #10 ranked welterweight and comes into the fight on a six-fight win streak and has won 8 of his last 10 in the UFC including a performance of the night and fight of the night bonus. In 2013, Ponzinibbio was a cast member on “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” where he advanced to the semi-finals and defeated Leonardo Santos. Unfortunately, he broke his hand in that fight and was replaced in the finals.
His opponent Neil Magny certainly knows his way around the octagon. Magny is currently the #8 ranked UFC welterweight and is a five year UFC and on Saturday he will be entering the octagon for the 20th time. In those twenty fights, Magny has received three performance of the night awards and one fight of the night award. He also set the record in 2014 when he recorded five victories in a calendar year. In this fight, Magny will have to use his grappling to get this fight off the feet. If he can’t, he’s going to have a long day dealing with the striking and power of Ponzinibbio. I don’t think Magny will be able to get Ponzinibbio to the ground and I see Ponzinibbio putting an end to Magny’s night early on in this one.
Lamas vs. Elkins
Also on this card is a fight of two top 15 featherweight contenders. It’s a fight between what seems to be two forgotten men in the featherweight division as Ricardo Lamas squares off with Darren Elkins. Lamas enters this fight on a two-fight losing streak with loses against Josh Emmett and Mirsad Bektic. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and All American wrestler will look to get this fight to the ground against Darren Elkins. Elkins lost his last fight against Alexander Volkanovski via unanimous decision. Before that, Elkins was on a six-fight win streak including two performance of the night bonuses. One of those bonuses came against Mirsad Bektic in a fight which many considered the comeback of the year in 2017 as he defeated Bektic via knockout. I think there have been holes in Ricardo Lamas’s game which have been exploited in his last two fights and I think the experience and talent of Darren Elkins are what will sway the fight in his favor. I see Elkins winning this fight via unanimous decision.
Rountree vs. Walker
In what has to be the favorite for Fight of the Night, Khalil Rountree Jr. will take on Johnny Walker in a light heavyweight fight. Walker is a Brazilian fighter who is making his UFC debut. Walker comes in at 6’5 and won his contract on Dana White’s Contender Series: Brazil. He’s someone who is always looking for a finish and has a wide variety of attacks. He utilizes muay-thai clinch, he throws huge haymakers and is always looking to land a flying knee. In the other corner, Rountree is a guy who looks to do the same. His last three fights have all been first-round knockout victories. Rountree’s backstory is definitely a compelling one. When he was two years old, his father was shot and killed in an armed robbery while working as the tour manager for Boyz II Men. At twenty years old, Rountree found himself weighing 300 pounds and decided to turn his life around. That’s when he found an MMA gym and decided to join so he can lose weight. One year later, he made his MMA debut.
Ferreira vs. Heinisch
In the middleweight division, UFC veteran Cezar Ferreira will take on UFC newcomer Ian Heinisch. Ferreira has won five out of his last six fights since returning to the middleweight division. Ferreira’s story is intriguing as he left home when he was seventeen years old looking for a better life. As fate would have it, he ran into Vitor Belfort who decided to take him under his wing and train him. Ferreira will take on Ian Heinisch who won his UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series. Heinisch is small for the division coming in at 5’11″, however, he is a strong guy, who looks to get the fight to the ground and when he does, he’s looking for a finish. Even on his back, Heinisch is very dangerous as he doesn’t just lay there and look to be stood back up. He’s attacking with submissions and elbows.
UFC Fight Night Buenos Aires takes place Saturday on UFC Fight Pass and Fox Sports 1. Check back with MMATorch.com for full coverage.