Santiago Ponzinibbio’s progress was such that perhaps he was just one fight away from getting a title shot at Tyron Woodley who was then the reigning UFC Welterweight Champion.
Fast forward to October 2020 and Santiago Ponzinibbio in not even a ranked fighter having being removed from the UFC rankings due to inactivity. The Argentine, however, is determined to turn his misfortune around and make 2021 his year. He plans to return to the Octagon in 2020.
“After my win in Argentina they had told me, ‘One more fight and you’re fighting for the world title. To think I went from being close to a title shot to being in a hospital fighting for my life, and at one moment they told me I would never fight because they thought the infection had reached my bone and destroyed everything.
“So, after all those complications, I’m more hungry than ever to return to work. Thank God, after going through something like that, you give value to things.”
Santiago Ponzinibbio suffered several health-related problems which kept him out of action in 2019. Then, just as he was healthy and looking to get back in the Octagon in 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and his fights were postponed indefinitely.
He also suffered a broken toe while helping Dustin Poirier prepare for the Dan Hooker fight and finally a knee infection further delayed his return to the Octagon.
Santiago Ponzinibbio last suffered a loss in 2015
It has been more than five years since Santiago Ponzinibbio last suffered a loss in his mixed martial arts career. He was stopped by Lorenz Larkin in June 2015 before going on a seven-fight win streak in a highly competitive UFC welterweight division.
His streak included wins over names such as Mike Perry, Nordine Taleb, and Gunnar Nelson.
Now healthy and with his bad luck behind him, the Argentine is eager to get back in the cage.
“Without a doubt (I’m returning in 2020). I don’t care against who – ranked or not ranked – I don’t care".
“In my last three fights, I defeated ranked opponents … But yeah I’ve been doing a good job in the division. Yeah, I had a pause with all the bad luck I had this year and in 2019, as you guys know I was in the hospital. All that is over and now I’m physically better than ever before and with a hunger to get in the octagon that I can’t put into words.” - (h/t MMA Junkie)Published 27 Oct 2020, 23:00 IST