Kamaru Usman vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio UFC Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 5/19/18
Ponzinibbio vs. Usman
UFC: Saturday, May 19, 2018 (Movistar Arena)
The Line: Usman -220 / Ponzinibbio +180 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Kamaru Usman and Santiago Ponzinibbio fight Saturday during UFC Fight Night 129 at the Movistar Arena.
Kamaru Usman enters this fight with a 12-1 record and has won 55 percent of his fights by knockout. Usman has won his last 11 fights and is coming off a January win over Emil Weber Meek. Usman is averaging 3.94 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 44.4 percent. Usman is averaging 4.99 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 47.4 percent. Usman will fight for the second time this year already, as he hopes to continue climbing the rankings and eventually earn a title shot. Usman hasn’t lost since his 2013 bout with Jose Caceres, and he’s coming off a fight in which he dominated Meek, landing 112 strikes and producing eight takedowns. Usman has produced 10 takedowns in his last three fights and that’s scary when you combine his striking power to his toolbox. Usman is a known striker with accuracy and knockout power, but he also has a deep background in wrestling and has produced 28 takedowns in his seven UFC fights. Usman is a really polished grappler and comfortable on the canvas despite just one career submission victory. This will be Usman’s second career fight outside of the United States.
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Santiago Ponzinibbio enters this fight with a 27-3 record and has won 52 percent of his fights by knockout. Ponzinibbio has won his last six fights and is coming off a December win over Mike Perry. Ponzinibbio is averaging 4.23 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 38.8 percent. Ponzinibbio is averaging 0.64 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 44.4 percent. Ponzinibbio will fight for the fourth time since February of last year and is coming off a fight in which he had three takedowns and out struck a guy with a boxing background. Ponzinibbio hasn't lost since his 2015 fight with Lorenz Larkin and has consistently been one of the busiest fighters in the UFC over the years. Ponzinibbio is an aggressive volume striker who uses his legs well and has a reach of 73 inches. Ponzinibbio has produced knockouts in nine of his last 16 victories and showed that he has power in both hands given his knockout win over Gunnar Nelson. Ponzinibbio has proven his worth his last several fights and can turn even more heads in this bout as the headliner. This will be Ponzinibbio’s first career fight in Chile.
Ponzinibbio is a live underdog in this fight given that he has the knockout power to match Usman standing up, and he’s improved his grappling ability since he first entered the UFC. Ponzinibbio is getting more comfortable on the canvas and is fresh off a fight in which he produced three takedowns. However, Usman is the bigger fighter, more explosive and still has the edge in raw striking and grappling ability. Usman is usually able to control where the fight goes and is far more polished on the canvas than the Argentinian at this point. Regardless of his current form, Usman is overall the better fighter who should have the advantage no matter where this fight ends up.
Osman gets the victory.