Diggin’ Deep on UFC Glasgow: Nelson vs. Ponzinibbio – Fight Pass preview

Aside from hard-nosed veteran Leslie Smith, prospects dominate the Fight Pass prelims in Scotland. Given the recent addition Dana White’s Contender Series to the…

By: Dayne Fox | 6 years ago
Diggin’ Deep on UFC Glasgow: Nelson vs. Ponzinibbio – Fight Pass preview
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Aside from hard-nosed veteran Leslie Smith, prospects dominate the Fight Pass prelims in Scotland. Given the recent addition Dana White’s Contender Series to the Fight Pass lineup, it feels like a very appropriate place for prospects to be fighting. There aren’t any Scots in this portion of the card, but it’s hard to believe Welshman Brett Johns and Smith won’t be the crowd favorites; Johns due to his being from the UK and Smith thanks to her reputation. They aren’t going to just be the favorites with the live audience either…

The Fight Pass prelims begin at 12:00 PM ET/9:00 AM PT on Sunday.

Brett Johns (13-0) vs. Albert Morales (7-1-1), Bantamweight

Morales has established himself as one of the better action fighters in the UFC over a short time period. He may not have taken home any Performance money yet, but it seems like an inevitability that it will happen sooner rather than later. Leg kicks are a huge staple of his arsenal, though he’s just as active with his heavy haymakers loaded with serious KO power. Though Morales has had limited success in getting the fight to the ground, he’s shown surprisingly stout takedown defense and is slick in scrambles.

Johns entered the UFC with far more fanfare as he tore up the European scene before winning the Titan FC belt in the US. A fantastic takedown artist, Johns has both the wrestling and judo chops to get the opposition to the ground in just about any fashion he wishes. Far from a one-trick pony, Johns has developed a basic but effective combination boxing game that he throws with great aplomb. He doesn’t possess much power, but is a threat to snag a submission, particularly in scrambles.

While Johns is the deserved favorite, Morales doesn’t give an opponent a single inch of ground without making them earn it the hard way. I’ll admit that Morales’ takedown defense has held up really well, but none of his opponents have the skills that Johns possesses. Throw in the fact that Morales is taking this contest on short notice and I can’t help but feel it will be long night for the American. Johns via decision

Leslie Smith (9-7-1) vs. Amanda Lemos (6-0-1), Women’s Bantamweight

Originally scheduled to face Lina Lansberg before an injury forced out the Elbow Queen, Smith now welcomes Lemos to the Octagon. Knowing Smith, it will be a violent welcoming.

Smith is a poster child for toughness, having no qualms about stepping up to face Cris Cyborg and insisting on continuing to fight when her ear was halfway ripped off against Jessica Eye. Known mostly as a brawler, Smith displayed a much more technical showing in her most recent appearance, putting together fluid combinations while mixing up her shots to the body as well as the head. She even showed a little bit of attention to defense. Not much, but any sort of attention to that is an improvement for her. Smith does know how to survive on the ground, but has yet to complete a single takedown in her UFC run.

Lemos is defined by her mean streak. When she throws, she throws with bad intentions. A Muay Thai practitioner, Lemos has some very hard kicks when given range that she can fire in rapid fire succession. It’s in the clinch and on the ground where Lemos finds most of her success, as she possesses a stocky frame that’s difficult to move. However, she hasn’t figured out the positioning intricacies in either area with opponents having been able to either reverse or escape with more easily. If Lemos does find a good position to unload with her ground strikes, she doesn’t hold anything back.

Smith is going to give Lemos the type of fight she wants as Smith isn’t likely to expose Lemos’ wrestling and grappling holes. However, Lemos does often rely on out-toughing an opponent and there is no one in this sport – male or female – that is tougher than Smith. Expect this to be an all-out slugfest with Smith’s stamina and toughness carrying her to a late stoppage or a decision. Smith via TKO, RD3

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About the author
Dayne Fox
Dayne Fox

Dayne Fox is a contributing writer and analyst for Bloody Elbow. He has been writing about combat sports since 2013 and a member of Bloody Elbow since 2016. Dayne primarily contributes opinion pieces and event coverage. Dayne’s specialties are putting together the preview articles for all the UFC events and post-fight analysis. Outside of writing on combat sports, Dayne works in the purchasing department of a construction company, formerly working as an analyst. He is also a proud husband and father. In what spare time he can find, he enjoys strategy games and is a movie enthusiast. He is based in Utah.

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