This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 55, we saw an incredible showdown in the welterweight division that earned Fight of the Night honors. Top contenders Santiago Ponzinibbio (28-6) and Michel Pereira (28-11) went to battle.
Heading into the fight at UFC Vegas 55, I thought Ponzinibbio had an advantage in the striking. I figured that if Ponzinibbio moved forward and stayed technical, Pereira was going to have a hard time dealing with him.
Michel Pereira is extremely explosive, but he can be very wild. We’ve also seen his defense struggle at times due to his style. However, he looked very sharp on Saturday night. Throughout the first couple of rounds, Pereira was getting the better of Ponzinibbio.
Heading into the final round at UFC Vegas 55, the fight was close, but many had Pereira up two rounds to none. I think it was pretty obvious that Ponzinibbio won the final round, but it all came down to the first two rounds.
In the end, two of the three judges thought that Pereira did enough to secure those rounds. As a result, Pereira was given the win at UFC Vegas 55 and he extended his winning streak to five.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 55?
With this latest win, Pereira finds himself officially in the UFC welterweight rankings clocking in at 14th this week. Pereira is now 6-2 in his eight UFC fights. However, there should be an asterisks by one of those losses.
Pereira completed dominated and beat down Diego Sanchez. However, in the third round, he landed an illegal knee. Despite Sanchez appearing to be okay, he told the referee that the shot was illegal and as a result he couldn’t continue.
In my opinion, the fight should’ve been a no contest, but Pereira lost by disqualification. Throw that fight out in my opinion. The only loss he had came against Tristan Connelly. In that fight, Pereira was extremely inefficient with his energy and completely gassed out with his wild and crazy strikes.
Had he not done that or thrown that shot against Sanchez, we might be talking about a perfect UFC record. With this latest win, it’s time for the promotion to give him another contender that’s in the top fifteen.
There are several options for the UFC to pick from. An outside of the box option I like is Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. Wonderboy needs a fight right now and it would be interesting to watch the evasive and technical Wonderboy take on a wild man like Pereira.
Michael Chiesa could also be an option for Pereira. One to watch as well is Shavkat Rakhmonov if he beats Neil Magny. Unlike fellow super prospect Khamzat Chimaev, Rakhmonov is likely going to get a slow build. If he beats Magny and stays undefeated, I could see the UFC booking him with the entertaining Pereira.