Ryan LaFlare is still perfect, stretching the unbeaten start of his career to nine straight after mostly dominating Santiago Ponzinibbio en route to a unanimous decision win.
All three judges scored the UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson welterweight fight 30-27.
LaFlare did his best work in the third, when he knocked Ponzinibbio down with a knee to the body and swarmed, searching for a finish with a hail of ground strikes. Ponzinibbio survived but couldn’t do anything to help his offensive cause.
“I thought I had him,” LaFlare said afterward. “I tried to rush in instead of looking to finish with one blow. But he’s extremely tough.”
LaFlare won the first, using his wrestling edge to keep Ponzinibbio grounded for much of the duration. He briefly threatened with an armbar but Ponzinibbio was never in much trouble and managed to escape.
Ponzinibbio had more success keeping the fight upright in the second, and briefly managed to turn the fight into a brawl with an aggressive charge and barrage. LaFlare briefly exchaged with him but managed to get the fight back to his comfort zone on the ground.
LaFlare is now 2-0 in the UFC since signing with the organization earlier this year.
Ponzinibbio had been making his UFC debut, and lost for the first time in seven fights, dropping his record to 18-2.