Santiago Ponzinibbio

Gente Boa

Argentina

Falls via split decision at UFC 269
WelterweightUFC
December 11, 2021
Ponzinibbio lost to Geoff Neal via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 28-29) at UFC 269 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
It's a disappointing result for Ponzinibbio, but also the correct one. Outside of a brief flurry in Round 2, Ponzinibbio had difficulty generating consistent offense. He made absolutely no effort to go to the body, instead preferring to head hunt and pepper Neal with low kicks. The kicks actually worked quite well, but the rest of his offensive attack, not so much. Ponzinibbio appeared to be in pretty good shape following the second frame, but Neal was able to win with volume in Round 3. A staph infection cost Ponzinibbio nearly three years worth of action from November 2018 to January 2021, and he hasn't been the same guy since returning, losing two of three bouts in the past calendar year. Toss in the fact he turned 35 years of age this past September, and there is no margin for error for Ponzinibbio moving forward at 170 pounds.
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Added to UFC 269 card
WelterweightUFC
October 11, 2021
Ponzinibbio is scheduled to face Geoff Neal in a welterweight fight set for Dec. 11 at UFC 269, Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
There's no question the biggest matchup on the UFC 269 card will be the fight between Leon Edwards and Jorge Masvidal, but this bout should also gather decent attention as well. Ponzinibbio has gone 1-1 this year since returning to the octagon, as he lost against Li Jingliang but defeated Miguel Baeza in his most recent fight. The 34-year-old owns a 28-4 record in his career and has gone 10-3 at the UFC level.
Back in the win column
WelterweightUFC
June 6, 2021
Ponzinibbio defeated Miguel Baeza via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC Vegas 28 on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
Ponzinibbio did face adversity here, as he was outlanded in the first round 39 to 15 in terms of significant strikes. Still, the veteran kept coming forward and varying his attacks to pull away in the second and third frames. It was a massive victory for the former title contender, who recently came back from a two-plus year layoff in January to get finished by Li Jingliang in the first round. This victory gets the 34-year-old back on the right track, in addition to a $50,000 bonus after this bout was awarded Fight of the Night honors.
Next fight booked
WelterweightUFC
April 15, 2021
Ponzinibbio will take on Miguel Baeza on the UFC's May 5 card, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA reports.
ANALYSIS
Ponzinibbio suffered his first UFC loss since June 27 of 2015 the last time out, falling to Li Jingliang via KO (punches) at 4:35 of the first round. It marked his first pout since 2018, but he won't wait long for a chance at redemption after having his seven-match winning streak snapped. Next up is a fighter in Baeza who owns a perfect record as a professional (10-0-0) and a 4-0-0 record since joining the UFC. Ponzinibbio hands over an inch of height and two inches of reach to his opposition.
Crushed in return from long layoff
WelterweightUFC
January 16, 2021
Ponzinibbio lost to Li Jingliang via KO (punches) at 4:35 of Round 1 at UFC on ABC 1 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
ANALYSIS
Dominick Cruz is famous for saying that Octagon rust isn't a real thing and is entirely mental, but anyone who watched this fight would be hard-pressed to agree. Fighting for the first time since November 2018, Ponzinibbio appeared baffled. He threw virtually no strikes, instead looking for an opening that never materialized. The finish came when Li threw one huge sweeping left hook that floored Ponzinibbio. You can't help but feel bad for Santiago. This is a guy who ran off seven straight victories before injuries and illness led to the prolonged layoff. One loss later, Ponzinibbio finds himself at a sudden career crossroads at age 34. This sport can be brutal at times. Expect Ponzinibbio to get back into the Octagon ASAP given all the time he missed.
Taking on Li Jingliang in Abu Dhabi
WelterweightUFC
December 21, 2020
Ponzinibbio (27-3-0) is scheduled to face Li Jingliang (17-6-0) in a welterweight fight scheduled for Jan. 16 at the UFC's event in Abu Dhabi, Guilherme Cruz and Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com report.
ANALYSIS
Ponzinibbio was initially slated to take on Muslim Salikhov on Fight Island, but Salikhov withdrew while he continued to experience symptoms of the coronavirus following his recent bout with COVID-19. The promotion was quickly able to find a replacement for Salikhov in Jingliang, who recently had a fight of own cancelled due to an opponent (Dwight Grant) testing positive for the virus. Now that Jingliang has been confirmed as his new opponent, Ponzinibbio is finally ready to return to the Octagon for the first time since November 2018.