- The UFC heads to Argentina for the first time ever this Saturday (November 17th)
- Santiago Ponzinibbio and Neil Magny headline the show with a welterweight clash
- Ponzinibbio is looking to climb up the rankings, and he’s hoping to do it in his backyard.
The UFC heads to Argentina for the first time this Saturday (November 17th) for Fight Night 140. Local boy Santiago Ponzinibbio has been tearing his way up the welterweight rankings, and he headlines the event against the eighth-ranked Neil Magny.
It’s an exciting match-up and a true test for both fighters.
Ponzinibbio is on a six-fight streak but has never faced an opponent in the top ten. Magny is a mainstay in the welterweight top ranks but his fights of late have been underwhelming.
Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Neil Magny Odds
Santiago Ponzinibbio (26-3) opens as the favorite by a pretty wide margin over Neil Magny (21-6).
The Argentine fighter signed with the UFC back in 2013, but has mostly toiled away outside of the limelight. It took a six-fight win streak, featuring victories over the likes of Mike Perry and Gunnar Nelson, to finally grab our attention.
Welcoming him into the upper tiers of the welterweight division is Neil Magny, who has become something of a gatekeeper at 170 lbs.
Magny is a jack of all trades, an all-rounder who can do everything adequately but doesn’t particularly shine in any department. That would be fine if he was able to dictate fights and exploit his opponents’ weak points, but too often elite fighters are able to drag the fight into their territory and make easy work of him.
Demian Maia pulled him onto the mat and easily submitted him. Lorenz Larkin forced him into a striking battle and knocked him out. And Rafael dos Anjos simply dropped him with a leg kick and submitted him in the first round.
If Ponzinibbio wants to follow this model, he’ll try to limit Magny to a boxing match. By applying constant pressure, as the Argentine is known to do, he could put Magny on the back foot and force him to rely on his hands. That would put Ponzinibbio in a very favorable position.
His stiff jab and crisp boxing has served him well in the UFC.
He boasts four first-round knockouts in the UFC, all by punches, and has managed 20 stoppages in his 29 professional fights. Magny has been dangerously ‘hittable’ in his last few fights, so there’s a huge risk of an early knockout.
Tale of the Tape
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Magny is the more balanced fighter and would benefit from turning the fight into a wrestle-fest. We haven’t seen much of Ponzinibbio’s ground-game and it’s probably fair to assume it’s nothing special.
There’s also the stamina gap.
Magny is a workhorse who can go for days. There’s no doubt he’ll be able to grind for five whole rounds. Ponzinibbio, on the other hand, carries a lot of muscle and is relatively untested in deep waters. There’s a decent chance he’ll gas out if the fight doesn’t finish early.
A potential game plan for Magny could be to start the fight conservatively, doing everything to avoid Ponzinibbio’s heavy straight right, and drag the fight into the championship rounds.
A potential game plan for Magny could be to start the fight conservatively, doing everything to avoid Ponzinibbio’s heavy straight right, and drag the fight into the championship rounds. It’ll be there that Ponzinibbio’s power starts to wane and Magny could work his magic.
Magny is in need of a big win. His decision victory over Craig White, an unknown UFC newcomer, impressed no one. And his win against a spent Carlos Condit was more a testament to TNBK’s decline than Magny’s ability.
This is a very winnable fight for Magny. He’s venturing into enemy territory to face a rising star on a six-fight streak. But if he can execute a smart game plan, it’s his to take.
Pick: Neil Magny (+245)
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