An extended period of inactivity has forced Argentina native, Santiago ‘Gente Boa’ Ponzinibbio from the welterweight ranks of the UFC. The submission-specialist has managed nine Octagon wins in his brief stint with the promotion – seven coming in his last seven outings in fact. A countless string of injuries has prevented the 33-year-old from making a blitz toward the top of the division – and a staph infection ruled him from a UFC 245 pairing with Robbie Lawler.
According to Ponzinibbo’s head coach, and American Top Team leader, Mike Brown – the La Plata native is close to a return to action. Brown spoke with Colin Crandall from the MMA Power Hour at Thursday’s UFC 248 Media Day – where he revealed Ponzinibbio has targeted an Octagon return soon.
“I think he’s (Santiago Ponzinibbio) about ready to fight, he wants to,” Brown said. “He’s looking to compete again. He had a long layoff, he had an injury – an infection. He’s coming off a huge win – looked great in South America in the main event against Neil Magny, a beautiful performance. It’s a shame he’s had to sit out this time – but he’s been in the gym now for quite some time, getting back in shape, training, trying to improve. I think it’s about time for him to sign a fight – I think he’s looking to do that right now.“
Ponzinibbio last competed in November 2018, securing a penultimate round stoppage of Neil Magny – adding to prior victories over Mike Perry, grappling ace, Gunnar Nelson, and Zak Cummings. The Florida resident is one of the best well-rounded competitors within the welterweight ranks – holding twenty-one stoppages and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt.