Santiago Ponzinibbio stared down the Mike Perry storm and came out on top on Saturday. While Perry was unranked, it was a win over an opponent that was getting a big push from the UFC’s promotional machine. After taking out the prospect, Ponzinibbio is trying to catapult himself into huge fights. Knowing a title shot may not be possible yet, he wants the next best thing: A number one contender scrap with Rafael dos Anjos to see who gets to fight the champ when he comes back from shoulder surgery.
“I know the UFC might not give me [a title shot] now because Tyron Woodley has an injured shoulder, so I think they should give me Rafael dos Anjos. Rafael dos Anjos and I should fight and the winner should fight for the title. I think this is a good match. I thought it was a good fight and good performance by Rafael dos Anjos. I like the winner of this fight, it’s nothing personal with Rafael dos Anjos. I like him, he won, but he only has three fights in this division you know. He won against Tarec Saffiedine, he is an old guy. Neil Magny is tough, but Lawler is old too and not having the best moment in his career.”
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) December 18, 2017
“I have six fights in a row in this division and I have ten fights in this division. I think for [dos Anjos] to get a title shot now, it’s too quick. I think if he fights with me before going to a title shot it’s much better. Now I’m ready for the champion. I’m ready to be next champion of this division. I have six victories in a row and the most victories in a row now. I have a lot of victories by knockout in the first round and I’m exciting to watch. All my fights I’m considered for a bonus, sometimes they give me it and sometimes they don’t. I’m an exciting fighter and I’m nearing my chance for the belt.” — Santiago Ponzinibbio speaking on The MMA Jim podcast.
Regadless if you think he deserves it or not, Ponzinibbio is doing everything right. He beat a guy in Mike Perry who was gaining notoriety and had a name ready to call out. Dana White has said before that the winner between Rafael dos Anjos and Robbie Lawler would be the next to fight Tyron Woodley, but as well all know, nothing is set in stone in this industry. If Woodley has to stay out a little longer than expected and dos Anjos doesn’t want to sit on the shelf, there’s a possibility Ponzinibbio may get the fight he’s looking for. Of course, Colby Covington might have something to say about that.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/19/2017.