Nelson beat Ponzinibbio to the punch a couple of times right out of the gate, but then the Argentinian fighter landed a nice counter that wobbled the Icelandic welterweight. Nelson tried to recover, but after getting floored with a left, he was finished with more shots from Ponzinibbio.
Following the event, Nelson pointed to an eye poke he took, while discussing the defeat (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“I don’t like to make excuses, but this is the truth, how I feel anyway, is I should have stopped the fight when I got poked,” Nelson said. “I should have stopped it then because I’m seeing two Ponzinibbios in front of me. And that was like that until I remember standing up and the fight was over.”
“I should have stopped it then and I’m not saying, like, he did a good job and maybe it would have happened anyway,” Nelson said. “Maybe my reflexes just wouldn’t have been enough to move away from the punch, but this is how I felt, like, I’m kind of kicking myself in the head for not just stopping the fight and being greedy, because I caught him and I thought he was on the run.”
Now, chances are Ponzinibbio boosters aren’t going to care for this post-fight analysis. But, it did look like Nelson’s eye was bothering him, before the bout’s final and decisive moments. Even if the fight had been stopped, to give Nelson some time, it doesn’t mean Ponzinibbio wouldn’t have gone on to win.
Officials are doing more these days to stop fighters from leaving their fingers extended during exchanges, but really, the UFC should look at introducing new gloves that reduce eye pokes.
All this aside, Ponzinibbio is in line for another big fight. The powerful striker has now won five straight.