Two of the best welterweights in the world will scrap it out later this year when Robbie Lawler meets Santiago Ponzinibbio at UFC 245.
The bout was first reported by MMAjunkie.com, though the UFC has yet to officially confirm it. UFC 245 takes place December 14 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Lawler vs. Ponzinibbio will likely be a part of the pay-per-view portion of the card.
It goes without saying this is a huge fight in the stacked UFC welterweight division.
Lawler (28-14, 1 NC) is coming off of three straight losses. “Ruthless” lost to Colby Covington via unanimous decision, Ben Askren via controversial technician submission and Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision. The former UFC welterweight champion has not won a fight inside the Octagon since a July 2015 decision win over Donald Cerrone at UFC 214. Overall, he’s lost four of his last five fights. Despite that, Lawler remains one of the most respected fighters in the sport, and he’s still known for his devastating knockout power.
Ponzinibbio (27-3) is one of the hottest rising contenders at 170lbs. The Argentinian is currently riding a seven-fight win streak and overall holds a 9-2 record in the UFC. In his last outing, Ponzinibbio defeat Neil Magny via KO last November. Prior to that Ponzinibbio defeated Mike Perry via decision and before that Gunnar Nelson via KO. He has been waiting patiently for his chance to fight a top-ranked welterweight, and now he’ll get the chance to do so when he takes on the veteran Lawler.
This should be a terrific fight between two fighters who prefer to keep their fights standing and bang it out. No odds have been released yet, but given Ponzinibbio’s win streak and Lawler’s losing skid, you’d have to imagine Ponzinibbio will open as the betting favorite here.
Who do you think wins, Robbie Lawler or Santiago Ponzinibbio?