EXCLUSIVE | Santiago Ponzinibbio ‘really excited to come back’ after slow start to 2018

Santiago Ponzinibbio

Santiago Ponzinibbio will finally be making his long-awaited return to the Octagon at home in Argentina as the main event on Nov. 17 against Neil Magny for UFC Fight Night 140. Ponzinibbio last fought in Dec. 2017 where he defeated Mike Perry by unanimous decision.

However, following the fight against Perry, Santiago Ponzinibbio was looking to gain momentum in the welterweight rankings as he was scheduled to fight Kamaru Usman at UFC Fight Night 129, but the Argentina native had to pull out due to injury. The 31-year-old is now ready to return again and make his way up the rankings.

“I’m recovering very well. I’m training good,” Ponzinibbio said to BJPENN Radio this week. “I train everything, everything I can do. Everything, I feel good. I feel ready, ready for November, man. I am really, really excited to come back. I am really excited. I need to ride, you know? I need a fight. I’m excited for this fight man. Everything is good, man. Everything is good. It’s really good, you know? My last fight was in December. I beat Mike Perry. I think I can still deliver against the top five MMA fighters in the world.”

While Ponzinibbio hasn’t be able to fight since December, he is a little disappointed with his current station in the UFC welterweight rankings. He’s currently ranked number 10, but believes he should probably be higher.

“I beat the number eight in the world in 82 seconds last year, you know? I see this ranking, no, no, no, no, no. It doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t make sense,” Santiago Ponzinibbio said. “I have ranking number ten now, but that doesn’t matter for me. I don’t put my focus in that. You know, I am ready for this fight, to finish this fight, in front of the world for to see, I am ready for the belt, man. This is my place in the world, top place in the world. I’m ready fight for the belt too.”

While Ponzinibbio thinks he will fight for the belt soon, his fight against Magny — currently ranked number eight — is something he is looking forward too. Not only will Ponzinibbio headline the card, but he will also be fighting in his home country, a dream come true.

“I’m really excited, man. This is a really big, big chance, you know? When I started, I start my career in Argentina, twelve, eight fights, seven fights professional in Argentina, you know,” he explained. “Now I back to my country for the main event, the biggest company in the world for MMA. This is really good, man. My family, my friends, they stay in the same place, [they’ll come to] see me live. It’s a really good, good opportunity.”

A really good opportunity indeed for Ponzinibbio, but he will have to win the fight against Magny to move up the rankings. If he can do that and string together two to three more wins, he may have his title shot soon. For now, he is focused on Magny and putting on a show in front of his country.

Who do you think will the fight between Magny and Ponzinibbio?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/20/2018.