Streaking UFC welterweight contender, Santiago ‘Gente Boa’ Ponzinibbio, has called for a pairing with former lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos – for his first Octagon appearance since November of 2018. Injuries have plagued the promotional stint of Ponzinibbio recently, forcing him from high profile matchups with current division champion, Kamaru Usman, and former division champion, Robbie Lawler.
Taking to his official Twitter account this evening, the 33-year-old Argentinian revealed he had asked the promotion for a bout with ‘RDA’, before urging the Brazilian to do the same.
“I spoke to the ufc and @RdosAnjosMMA You have to call them and tell them you want to fight me. I told ufc (sic) already I am ready and they are waiting on You as usual. Stop being a phony (sic) and call them!
I spoke to the ufc and @RdosAnjosMMA You have to call them and tell them you want to fight me. I told ufc already I am ready and they are waiting on You as usual. Stop being a phony and call them!— Santiago Ponzinibbio (@SPonzinibbioMMA) May 20, 2020
Due to inactivity over the last two years, Ponzinibbio was removed from the official welterweight rankings. After his most recent loss to now Bellator MMA welterweight challenger, Lorenz Larkin back in June of 2015 – the American Top Team trainee has lodged seven straight victories. Among those seven consecutive triumphs, you’ll find the likes of Mike Perry, Neil Magny, Gunnar Nelson, Nordine Taleb, and Zak Cummings.
Speaking with Colin Crandall from the MMA Power Hour ahead of UFC 248 in March, Ponzinibbio’s head coach, former WEC featherweight champion, Mike Brown, revealed the contender was expecting 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.“
Former UFC lightweight titleholder, dos Anjos, who turns 36-years-old in October has had a mixed bag of success since his move to 170-pounds back in June of 2017. dos Anjos holds a record of 3-4 in the division, earning an interim title tilt against Colby Covington back in June of 2018 at UFC 225.
The Evolve MMA product has managed wins over former Strikeforce welterweight best, Tarec Saffiedine, the aforementioned, Magny and Lawler, and an arm-triangle stoppage of Kevin Lee. In his two most recent outings, dos Anjos has endured a two-fight skid, losing unanimous decisions to Leon Edwards, and Michael Chiesa.