It’s been almost two years since we last saw 34-year-old Santiago Ponzinibbi (27-3, 9-2 UFC) in the UFC’s Octagon. November 17, 2018, was one of the most beautiful days of his career. In front of his fans and compatriots in Argentina, he defeated Neil Magny and everything looked great for the Top 10 ranked welterweight.
It was his seventh win in a row and he was actually a hit name category up to 77 pounds at the time. But we can say how his life happened then and what he very often brings unexpectedly. He spent almost the entire year 2019 in hospitals and therapies, which he talked about in more detail before, only to be caught in a pandemic in 2020.
He failed to arrange a fight, another minor injury occurred and he was consequently removed from the official category rankings. But a new struggle seems imminent. There are no criteria for the opponent, he just wants to fight again, especially after his career resumption was questioned not so long ago.
Something about his return was said by the great Argentine in an interview for Hablemos MMA, an MMA Junkie podcast in Spanish. "After my victory in Argentina, they told me I needed another victory, and then I would fight for the title.
It's amazing to think that I went from a situation where I'm so close to fighting for the title to fighting for my life in the hospital. At one point they told me I would never fight again because the infection got into my bones and destroyed just about everything."
"Now, after going through it all, I’m hungrier than ever and I want to go back to work. Thank God, after you pass through something like that, you start to appreciate the important things more, ”Ponzinibbio said, adding that there is nothing to wait for."
"I have no doubt that I will be back this year. I don't care who or what it is ranked or not. Of course, I would prefer to fight someone from the Top 5 or the main fight of Fight Night. I deserved it for everything I gave to this organization.
In addition, every time I was in the main fight I celebrated by knockout with a bonus to perform the evening and that against ranked fighters." "In the last three fights, I overcame ranked opponents. I had this break and bad luck that goes along with it.
But the problems are behind me and I feel better physically than ever before. I can't describe how much worse I am than wanting to go back to the Octagon. " He believes that it is not a problem that he was removed from the ranking.
He believes that a good performance in the first fight will bring him back to where he was, to a position from which he can look towards the top. The category has not been as exciting for a long time as it is today, and "Gente Boa" must be ready for difficult challenges. But anyone with the ambition to become a UFC champion must be prepared for something like that.