Santiago Ponzinibbio picked up his seventh straight win inside the Octagon this past weekend (Nov. 17, 2018) after he knocked out Neil Magny in the main event of UFC Fight Night 140 in Buenos Aires, Argentina (highlights).
Afterward, the Argentinian called for a fight against the winner of Kamaru Usman vs. Rafael dos Anjos in hopes of getting closer to his first-ever title shot. An opportunity he feels he should’ve earned long ago.
“Tyron Woodley, when he got the title shot, he had six fights for the company,” Ponzinibbio told MMAjunkie. “He won four and lost two. He lost to Rory MacDonald, and then got two fights – two easy fights. Koscheck and that other guy, and they gave him a title shot. C’mon! This is ridiculous!”
Indeed, Santiago -- who is currently ranked No. 10 — has been fighting tooth and nail to get the respect and recognition he feels he deserves. In the end, though, Santiago knows title fights and big bouts are about business, but says if given the chance, not only can he knockout division champion Tyron Woodley, but Conor Mcgregor and Georges St-Pierre, as well.
“You give me Conor, I am a better striker than him. He’s really good at trash talk and he’s a really good businessman, but I’m a better fighter. This is different. I’m a better striker. I have better timing. I have better power,” he said. “I’ll finish him, for sure. I’ll finish McGregor. I’ll finish GSP – GSP is old. He’s a good guy. I like him. I’m a big fan. But I’m better. I’ll finish him. I’m ready for both. I’m an exciting fighter,” he continued.
“I know I’m ready. I know I’ll finish Tyron. I know I’ll knock him out, but I need the opportunity. If you give me the fight with GSP, I’ll knock him out for sure. I’ll knock anybody at 170 pounds if you give me the opportunity.”
Should Santiago ever run that gauntlet, his stock and bank account would go way up. Scoring those fights is a bit tricky though, as “Rush” isn’t in a hurry to return to action and McGregor isn’t likely to accept a fight against a man -- although talented and skilled — who doesn’t have the big-time draw “Notorious” is accustomed to.
A championship fight against Woodley, however, is more realistic, all Ponzinibbio needs to do is win at least one more big fight to lock down his first-ever UFC world title fight. Whether or not “The Chosen One” has the strap when that time rolls around, remains to be seen.