UFC welterweight contender Santiago Ponzinibbio is set to return to the Octagon in the coming months when he faces top prospect Miguel Baeza.
Marcelo Barone of Combate was the first to report the Ponzinibbio vs. Baeza fight, which will take place at a UFC Fight Night card set for June 5. That event currently does not have the main event set for it, but other bouts scheduled for the card include Roman Dolidze vs. Alessio Di Chirico, Ilir Latifi vs. Tanner Boser, and Muslim Salikhov vs. Francisco Trinaldo.
UFC acerta Santiago Ponzinibbio x Miguel Baeza, pelo peso-meio-médio, para o evento programado para 5 de junho. #feedmma
— Marcelo Barone (@marbarone) April 15, 2021
Ponzinibbio (27-4) was at one point in time one of the most feared welterweights in the UFC. Between 2015 and 2018, he won seven straight fights in the Octagon include notable victories over Mike Perry, Neil Magny, and Zak Cummings, among others. Overall, the 34-year-old native of Argentina is 9-3 overall in the UFC. However, he has been dealing with injuries and health issues over the last few years which have kept him out of the cage. After beating Neil Magny in November 2018, Ponzinibbio did not fight again until January 2021, when he fought Li Jingliang on Fight Island and suffered an upset knockout loss.
Baeza (10-0) looks like a future title contender at 170lbs. The 28-year-old American has gone undefeated since starting his pro MMA career in 2015, and he’s a perfect 3-0 so far in the UFC since earning a contract off of Dana White’s Contender Series. In the UFC, Baeza has defeated Hector Aldana, Matt Brown, and Takashi Sato. The wins over Brown and Sato were legit and earned him $50,000 each for “Performance of the Night.” Based on what we’ve seen of Baeza so far, he seems like the real deal. However, this is a big step up in competition against Ponzinibbio and it will be interesting to see how he handles the test.
Who do you think wins, Santiago Ponzinibbio or Miguel Baeza?