UFC Fight Night 61 Play: Sean Strickland (-170) vs Santiago Ponzinibbio (+150)

021915-UFC-Fight-Night-Sean-Strickland-PI-CH.vadapt.955.high.0UFC Fight Night 61 Date: February 22, 2014 Arena: Gigantinho Gymnasium City: Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil Welterweight bout: Sean Strickland (-170) vs Santiago Ponzinibbio (+150) Fight Breakdown: The UFC Fight Night 61 main card in Porto Alegre will be featuring a welterweight contest between 23-year old Sean Strickland and Argentina’s Santiago Ponzinibbio, with Strickland being the betting favorite at -170 ($170 to win $100) and Ponzinibbio being a +150 ($100 to win $150) underdog to win at Several Bookmakerss. Sean “Tarzan” Strickland (15-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) hopes to extend his UFC winning streak to three in a row and stay undefeated as a pro when he takes on Santiago Poninibbio in Brazil this Sunday night. He drops down to the welterweight division after going 2-0 at 185-pounds with a first round rear naked choke of Bubba McDaniel and a split decision over Luke Barnatt in his latest outing. “Tarzan” works a solid jab, which seems to be his weapon of choice on the feet, and he uses strikes to set up his takedowns really well. He has a nice left hook and works excellent takedowns. The 23-year old is good at using his distance on the feet, and he likes to be technical. He is a smart fighter who gameplans well for his fights. Strickland does not rush in the cage; he is patient and takes his time to look for openings while scoring points. He possesses serious power in his hands, owning seven of 15 professional mixed martial arts victories by way of T/KO. He puts opponents away both on the feet and with his dangerous ground and pound, which we got to see a sample of in the McDaniel fight, before he locked up the rear naked choke to earn the quick tap. Strickland he works takedowns pretty well and is very effective from top position, both with his strikes and grappling. He has a solid Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game, so he is also a threat with his submissions when the fight hits the mat. Along with a general grappling advantage, the King of the Cage veteran’s will likely have the edge in cardio heading into this contest. Santiago Ponzinibbio (19-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is coming off a first round knockout over Wendell Oliveira at UFC Fight Night 51 five months ago and looks to build on that by making it two in a row inside the Octagon against “Tarzan” this Sunday night in Porto Alegre. Ponzinibbio is a very tough fighter who possesses a great chin and a ton of heart. His strength is his striking and weakness is his cardio; he starts off well on the feet, but once fatigue starts to set in, the technique and speed in his striking diminishes. He begins to telegraph his strikes when tired, so an inferior striker with superior conditioning is capable of defeating him on the judges’ scorecards over three rounds of action. The Argentinian possesses a powerful right hand and throws heavy right kicks, preferring to connect to the body with them. He is an aggressive fighter who puts together some solid combinations on the feet. Ponzinibbio is capable of being a great technical striker, as well as a dangerously effective brawler. His takedown defense is questionable, but he does have very good submission defense on the mat. Gabe’s Thoughts: Regardless of the outcome to this welterweight contest, I think the judges are going to be deciding it more often than not, so while I favor Strickland to get his hand raised here, I think there is more value in the total of Over 2.5 rounds at -145. These fighters are both capable of finishing fights, but stylistically I think this one has the recipe for a decision more often than not, as I think they will be able to tough the other out, even if put in a difficult situation at one point or another. I think Ponzinibbio has a good chance of winning the first round, but I see Strickland coming back to win the second and third for the unanimous nod from the judges Octagon-side. However, considering the fight is in Brazil, it could be a split, and possibly even a split that goes the other way. Gabe’s Call: Strickland by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Strickland/Ponzinibbio Over 2.5 rounds (-145) parlayed with Andrade/Reneau Over 2.5 rounds (-260) at +133 for 2.8u to win 3.75u

Written by Gabe Killian

Leave a Reply

UFC Fight Night 61’s Sam Alvey: ‘I dare Cezar Ferreira to hit me with his kicks’

MMAOddsBreaker Staff Picks – UFC Fight Night 61