Welterweight contender Santiago Ponzinibbio will make his long-awaited return to the UFC against Muslim Salikhov in January.
Ponzinibbio vs. Salikhov is set to take place at a UFC event on January 16, one that will most likely take place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. Other fights that have been announced for the event include Ricky Simon vs. Brian Kelleher, Justin Tafa vs. Carlos Felipe, and Tim Elliott vs. Jordan Espinosa. There is no main event confirmed for this card just yet, though there remains the possibility the Ponzinibbio fight could headline the card.
Carlos Contreras Legaspi was first to break the news of the Ponzinibbio vs. Salikhov fight.
Ponzinibbio (27-3) was a top-15 welterweight, but after missing the last two years with injuries he was removed from the rankings. Before his injuries, the 34-year-old Argentinian was looking like a serious threat at 170lbs. Ponzinibbio, a member of American Top Team, has a 9-2 overall record in the UFC and he’s currently riding a seven-fight win streak. Some of his notable victories came over Neil Magny, Mike Perry, Sean Strickland, Court McGee, and Gunnar Nelson, with his two UFC losses to Lorenz Larkin and Ryan LaFlare.
Salikhov (17-2) joined the UFC in 2017 and has since gone 4-1 in the Octagon. After losing by submission to Alex Garcia in his promotional debut, Salikhov has since followed that up with four straight wins over Ricky Rainey, Nordine Taleb, Laureano Staropoli, and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos. The 36-year-old Russian is a veteran of nearly 200 kickboxing fights, having achieved a 185-13-1 record with 76 knockouts in kickboxing. Although he is one of the older fighters in the UFC welterweight division at age 36, Salikhov has looked good as of late and has defeated several younger opponents along the way during his win streak.
Who do you think wins, Santiago Ponzinibbio or Muslim Salikhov?