Ponzinibbio makes a huge statement
The deck was stacked against 14th-ranked Santiago Ponzinibbio, who went into enemy territory when he faced eighth-ranked Gunnar Nelson in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Glasgow, Scotland.
Nelson, who frequently trains with Conor McGregor at SBG in Ireland was a huge fan favourite throughout fight week and got a roaring applause when he entered the cage.
Ponzinibbio was unfazed as he became the first fighter to finish Nelson after landing some huge strikes at 1:22 of the first round.
The win was the 14th first round finish of Ponzinibbio’s career and the fourth of his UFC career and could vault him into the top-10 of the welterweight rankings.
Bonuses and Attendance
Attendance for UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs. Ponzinibbio in Glasgow was 10,589 with a live gate of $1.2 million.
Performance bonuses of $50,000 were awarded to Ponzinibbio for his vicious knockout of Nelson as well as Paul Felder who knocked out Stevie Ray. Danny Henry and Daniel Teymur also earned bonuses for their fight of the night.
The next event is UFC on FOX: Weidman vs. Gastelum on Saturday from the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. The main event features former middleweight champion Chris Weidman taking on Kelvin Gastelum as Weidman looks to avoid losing his fourth straight fight. Both the prelims and main card air on TSN5.
McGregor and Mayweather go on tour
In the lead up to the spectacle that is Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor on August 26 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, the two fighters went on a world tour with stops in Los Angeles, Toronto, Brooklyn and London.
The tour had memorable moments that ranged from entertaining to cringe worthy, but ultimately satisfied the role of building more hype around their much-anticipated fight.
At every stop, McGregor had the crowd on his side and weaponized the fans against Mayweather at some of the events.
Tickets for the event go on sale on Monday, July 24th and will range from $500 to $10,000 (U.S.).
Johnson wins best fighter at ESPY Awards
After some recent turbulence with the UFC, Demetrious Johnson garnered some mainstream attention last week when he won Fighter of the Year at the ESPYs.
Johnson, who has been the UFC’s flyweight champion since September of 2012 and has tied the records for most consecutive title defenses (10) joins the likes of Conor McGregor, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Ronda Rousey as the winner of the award.
UFC president Dana White recently told MMAJunkie that Johnson’s next fight would be against third-ranked Ray Borg, who Johnson has been looking to face after declining to fight bantamweight T.J. Dillashaw who planned to move down to flyweight to get a shot against Johnson.
No date has been announced for Johnson’s next fight, which would be his second of 2017 following his impressive third round submission victory over Wilson Reis in April.
Alvarez and Gaethje to coach The Ultimate Fighter
UFC president White confirmed to MMA Fighting’s Luke Thomas that former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez and sixth-ranked Justin Gaethje will coach the 26th season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Alvarez and Gaethje are two of the most exciting fighters in the organization and both have had their share of memorable fights.
The move came as a surprise to many as Alvarez was expected to meet Dustin Poirier in a rematch of their UFC 211 fight, which ended controversially when Alvarez landed illegal knees and the fight resulted in a no contest.
The Ultimate Fighter 26 will introduce a new women’s flyweight division into the UFC and the winner of the season will be the inaugural champion. It is a similar format to The Ultimate Fighter 20, where Carla Esparza was crowned the UFC’s inaugural women’s strawweight champion.
Among the fighters to try out for the show are Invicta’s Roxanne Modafferi and Rachael Ostovich, the UFC’s Lauren Murphy and well-known veterans Barb Honchak and Kelly Kobold.
The official cast has not yet been released.