Welterweights Santiago Ponzinibbio (ranked 10th) and Neil Magny (ranked 8th) faced off tonight (Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018) from inside Parque Roca Arena in Buenos Aires, Argentina, live and free on Fox Sports 1. Ponzinibbio was putting a six-fight win streak on the line in his home country, including wins over Mike Perry and Gunnar Nelson. Magny has been floating around the top of the division for years, with wins over Hector Lombard, Johny Hendricks, Kelvin Gastelum, and most recently, Carlos Condit.
Magny came out working his jab, looking to keep the distance while Ponzinibbio pressured. Ponzinibbio feinted, then let his hands go, making Magny cover up on the cage. Magny got back on his bike, but his eye looked cut, and Ponzinibbio began piecing him up with leg kicks, his own jab, and a powerful cross. Magny jabbed his way along the cage, but was not looking comfortable as Ponzinibbio landed another leg kick and jab. Santiago went to the body with a cross, but Magny was finding more space, looking for a one-two of his own. Ponzinibbio jabbed, slipped, avoided a one-two from Magny, then landed a leg kick. Magny was firing back, but that cross was landing for Ponzinibbio. Magny got to the center, kept moving, and looked to stay alive, but Ponzinibbio hurt him with a few seconds to go and unloaded as Magny covered up, including one hook that landed after the horn.
Magny found his range with the jab, but Ponzinibbio dropped him with a leg kick. Magny scooted forward and kicked him, but Ponzinibbio gestured for him to stand. He dropped Magny again with another leg kick. Ponzinibbio was moving around as Magny attempted to turn the pressure up on him. He landed a one-two, then found himself on the back foot again. Herb Dean stopped the bout to look at a cut over Ponzinibbio’s eye, but the doctor judged him fit to continue. He jabbed again and Magny covered up his own eye. Ponzinibbio feinted and pressured Magny to the cage, dropping him with yet another leg kick. Magny stood, eating a jab as he fought to survive against the cage. Ponzinibbio backed off and Magny tried to shoot, but Ponzinibbio stuffed the shot and walked away. Ponzinibbio landed a jab that stiffened Magny for a moment, but he recovered to see out the round.
Magny jabbed and leg kicked Ponzinibbio to start the third round, looking more aggressive than he had in the first two. Santiago backed him to the cage again, but let him off. Magny landed a long hook and ate a leg kick that spun him around. They traded crosses. The leg kick was Ponzinibbio’s most effective weapon by far, and it hobbled Magny again. He unloaded with a hook-cross that Magny absorbed. Ponzinibbio was feinting more than he was throwing, even when he had Magny flat against the fence. Magny jabbed and Ponzinibbio looked for power punches before finally landing another leg kick. One got the sense that if he just kicked Magny’s leg a few more times, the bout would be over, but Magny held on. Magny landed a leg kick of his own, as Ponzinibbio looked for a big right hand over his jab.
The fourth round began the same way all the others had, with Magny starting out aggressive, looking to jab and land one-twos. Ponzinibbio countered a jab with another leg kick drop. Magny tried a takedown, didn’t get it, and gingerly stood, favoring his lead leg. Ponzinibbio dropped him again, and again Magny got up. Ponzinibbio looked for power punches, dropped Magny again, and Santiago pressured, still hoping for that big right hand. Another leg kick, then he finally found it! A massive right hand put Neil Magny on the canvas face-first! It took him four rounds, but what a remarkable performance and finish for Santiago Ponzinibbio. He leapt onto the cage and waved the Argentinian flag in celebration.
Ponzinibbio spoke to the cheering crowd in Spanish after the bout, saying that this was a dream for him, after ten years, to headline a fight in his home country. He called for a title shot in 2019, for Argentina. He addressed Tyron directly, saying he would KO the champion, and said he deserved to fight for the belt, with his seven-fight win streak.
Official result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Neil Magny via KO at 2:36 of Round 4
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