31-Year-Old UFC Welterweight 27-3-0
May 1, 2018 Santiago Ponzinibbio News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Ponzinibbio will undergo hand surgery May 9 and is expected to resume training two months after that, Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com reports.
Ponzinibbio was scheduled to headline the May 19 card in Chile against Kamaru Usman, but was ultimately forced to withdraw due to a hand injury suffered in training. A victory over Mike Perry in his last fight boosted Ponzinibbio's winning streak to six, but the updated timetable suggests he'll have to wait until late-summer/early-fall to build on that.
Santiago Ponzinibbio: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Fantasy AnalysisPonzinibbio was slated to headline UFC Chile against Kamaru Usman, but had to withdraw due to a hand injury that occurred during sparring. He attempted to train through it to fight, but ultimately made it worse, prompting a doctor to recommend surgery.
Fantasy AnalysisThis comes as very disappointing news, as Ponzinibbio currently has a record of 26 wins and three losses. This would have been a very exciting match for the Chile main event, and a replacement has yet to be finalized.
Fantasy AnalysisPonzinibbio's reason for pulling out of the match is currently unknown, and there has been no replacement finalized quite yet to take on Usman in his place. More on this will be posted when the information is released.
Fantasy AnalysisPonzinibbio is riding an impressive six-fight winning streak, but in the deep welterweight division, he'll need a fellow top-10 opponent to really make a splash. He'll get just that in Usman, a red-hot fighter who will pose some serious matchup issues. Ponzinibbio is a fighter that typically likes to stand and trade, and sports just a 57 percent takedown defense. On the other side of the cage will be Usman, who averages nearly five takedowns per fight. Usman is a capable striker as well, but his current winning streak was built on a wrestling-based foundation. At the very least, Ponzinibbio, a native to Argentina, should have the home town crowd behind him while fighting in South America. But one would imagine he'd enter as a betting underdog against a diverse, up-and-coming fighter that also owns a three-inch reach advantage.
Fantasy AnalysisIt took a round or so for Ponzinibbio to find his range, but once he began leaning on his jab and firing off low leg kicks with regularity, the outlook changed entirely. Known as a pure striker, Ponzinibbio kept Perry off balance by mixing in three takedown attempts, all of which were successful. Now riding a six-fight winning streak, "Gente Boa" called for a title shot in his post-fight interview. While it's a bit early for that, Ponzinibbio only needs one or two more wins to get into the discussion.
Fantasy Analysis"Gente Boa" returns to the arena after pulling off an upset against Gunnar Nelson via a first-round TKO (punches) during UFC Fight Night in Scotland on July 16. This marked the fifth-straight victory for Ponzinibbio, and likely helped make the upcoming fight with Perry a reality. Perry comes in with two straight victories, defeating Jake Ellenberger, and most recently, Alex Reyes in September. He has only been bested once in his entire MMA career, to Alan Jouban last December in Sacramento.
Fantasy AnalysisThis night was supposed to be all about Nelson taking another step up the welterweight ladder. Instead, Ponzinibbio stole that spotlight with an impressive first-round knockout. Nelson got out to an early lead, but Ponzinibbio remained calm and rocked Nelson. Nelson attempted to recover, but the Brazilian continued to come forward and dropped Nelson. With the win, "Gente Boa" is now riding a five-fight winning streak that dates back to 2015. He should get a big opportunity due to this victory -- one that earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.
Fantasy AnalysisPonzinibbio has won six fights in the Octagon, including his last four in a row, since July of 2013. However, his hard-hitting persona will be tested against Nelson, who owns a top-notch ground game to go along with an unorthodox fighting style that was key in his recent victories over Albert Tumenov and Alan Jouban.
Fantasy AnalysisAfter a tough first round, Ponzinibbio went to his jab and fought his way to a decision. In the opening frame, Taleb used his reach to stay on the outside and land hard punches. Ponzinibbio then went to his jab. He continually beat his opponent to the punch and busted up his nose. This was a clear decision for the judges. Ponzinibbio has now won four fights in a row in the UFC. He has not lost in the UFC since 2015.
Fantasy AnalysisPonzinibbio keeps doing his thing despite very little fanfare. He has no proven that not only can he win fights thanks to his massive power, he can slowly dissect his opponents and win with movement and precision. The 29-year-old American Top Team product has wins over Cummings, Court McGee and Sean Strickland in the last 18 months. He's 5-1 in his last six fights dating back to September 2014. There's no doubt that Ponzinibbio is better than a couple of fighters who are currently ranked in the top-15 of the UFC's welterweight division (ex: Matt Brown & Jake Ellenberger).
Fantasy AnalysisThat's back-to-back first-round stoppage wins for Ponzinibbio. The finish Saturday came after McGee went for a terrible takedown attempt and Ponzinibbio rewarded him with a right hook to the face. Gente Boa quickly unleashed a flurry of punches before referee Herb Dean put a halt to the action. Ponzinibbio has power in his hands and an elite ground game, but he has fought two quality opponents in his UFC career (Ryan LaFlare, Lorenz Larkin) and he looks dreadful in both bouts. It's going to take several more big performances for him to be considered a threat in the welterweight division.
Fantasy AnalysisGive Ponzinibbio credit, he realized that Stahl wasn't competitive on the feet and he turned up the pressure. Ponzinibbio unloaded with a ton of combinations along the fence and even though he was taken down twice, he managed to quickly work his way back to his feet both times. It was a very nice bounce back effort for a guy who was beaten senseless by Lorenz Larkin in June. Ponzinibbio gets his UFC over the .500 mark, at 3-2.
Fantasy AnalysisPonzinibbio was battered badly in a knockout loss to Lorenz Larkin back in June, but will look to use what projects as superior striking in order to improve his UFC record to 3-2.
Fantasy AnalysisGive Ponziniibbio some credit, the guy kept moving forward despite the fact Larkin turned his right leg into hamburger meat. Apparently his training camp didn't include learning how to check a leg kick. Ponzinibbio did the best he could, but he simply couldn't match the speed of Larkin. He's defeated the weaker fighters he's been matched up against in the UFC (Sean Strickland, Wendell Oliveira), but he's looked fairly awful against the two talented men he faced (Larkin, Ryan LaFlare).
Fantasy AnalysisPonzinibbio has plenty of skills and an impressive record (21-2-0), but he's still a hefty underdog (+190) in this bout. Ponzinibbio is a strong guy, but he's facing a fighter who has spent the majority of his career fighting in a higher weight class. He's 2-1 in his first three bouts in the UFC, but he hasn't been particularly impressive. It's no surprise he's the underdog on Saturday.