Sunday’s UFC Glasgow event is in the books, and now that the dust has settled in Scotland, it’s time to go to the scorecard to see who the big winners were at The SSE Hydro.
1 – Santiago Ponzinibbio
It’s the fight every UFC vet dreams of: a main event against an established star that can take him from being a fighter on the fringe to legit threat in the division. Santiago Ponzinibbio got that fight in Glasgow, and he made the most of it, halting Gunnar Nelson in the first round. It was a star-making turn for the Argentina native, who may not be the best striker at 170 pounds, as he claimed, but he’s definitely in the mix with guys like Stephen Thompson, Robbie Lawler and “Cowboy” Cerrone. And hey, why not match him up with one of those folks in the future so they can figure out that answer for themselves?
2 – Paul Felder
Paul Felder had every excuse to lose Sunday’s bout with Stevie Ray. He was fighting a Scotland native in Glasgow and he was dealing with the passing of his father just before training camp started. But Felder showed up to The SSE Hydro not just ready to fight and win, but to make a statement, and that he did with a devastating first-round knockout of Ray that now has “The Irish Dragon” at 4-1 in his last five fights. And while he’s got some commentating work to do on the Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series for the rest of the summer, a fall meeting with a lightweight contender should be next.
3 – Neil Seery
Neil Seery didn’t win his final MMA bout Sunday, and kudos to Brazil’s Alexandre Pantoja for an excellent performance, but the Dubliner earned his spot here for a career well fought. Maybe the 37-year-old Seery started too late in MMA to be able to make a serious run at a flyweight title, but in every match he competed in, he gave his best and made sure that every opponent knew that they had been in a fight. Add in the class and grace he showed, win or lose, and it’s clear that “2Tap” will be missed in the fight game.
4 – Galore Bofando
When the FS1 in-studio team in LA is saying that someone just got Bofandoed, you know there is an intriguing new addition to the 170-pound weight class. London’s Galore Bofando has a name you can’t forget, and it looks like his fight style is equally as compelling. But it was his slam knockout of Charlie Ward that had everyone buzzing in Glasgow and beyond. It should be interesting to see what happens next with the unorthodox kickboxer.
5 – Leslie Smith
Win or lose, Leslie Smith is always a must see on fight night, and while her 10-7-1 record won’t scare anyone at 135 pounds, what should intimidate prospective opponents is the idea that “The Peacemaker” will be in their face from start to finish once the Octagon gate shuts. Her Sunday win over Amanda Lemos was typical of her winning efforts, as Smith will take a few shots, maybe shed some blood, and then keep marching forward until she gets her hand raised at the end. Smith vs. Bethe Correia? I’m in.