Streaking UFC welterweight challenger, Santiago ‘Gente Boa’ Ponzinibbio is in line for his first Octagon appearance since UFC Fight Night Buenos Aires in November 2018, with a matchup opposite fellow streaking contender, Muslim ‘King of Kung Fu’ Salikhov currently targeted for a UFC Fight Night event on January 16th. – with a location or venue for the showcase yet to be determined by the promotion.
La Plata native, Ponzinibbio was most recently linked with former division champion, ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler for UFC 245 last December, but was forced to withdraw from the matchup due to a staph infection, after a slew of other disrupting injuries.
Originally slated to meet with Cláudio Silva at UFC Fight Island 6 in October, Salikhov was also removed from the pairing, with Silva instead going on to take on James Krause in a unanimous decision defeat. News of the targeted tie was first reported by Milenio reporter, Carlos Contreras Legaspi.
Unbeaten in his last seven, American Top Team staple, Ponzinibbio took home a fourth-round knockout win over division mainstay, Neil ‘The Haitian Sensation’ Magny at his home event in Argentina two years ago.
Prior to that stoppage victory, Ponzinibbio scored victories over the polarizing, Mike Perry, as well as wins over the likes Gunnar Nelson, Nordine Taleb, Zak Cummings, and Court McGee.
36-year-old Dagestan striking ace, Salikhov has an incredible twelve knockout wins to his name from seventeen total successes. A five-fight Octagon veteran, Salikhov initially debuted in the UFC with a rear-naked choke defeat to Alex Garcia at UFC Fight Night Shanghai in November of 2017.
In four fights since, Salikhov has finished both Ricky Rainey and common-opposition, Nordine Taleb, before decision triumphs over both Laureano Staropoli and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos.