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Report: Santiago Ponzinibbio returns, battles Muslim Salikhov on Jan. 16

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UFC Fight Night: Magny v Ponzinibbio Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight contender Santiago Ponzinibbio, who at one point was ranked as high as No. 7 at 170 pounds, is expected to make his Octagon return against Russian bruiser Muslim Salikhov at the upcoming “Fight Night” event on Jan. 16 in Las Vegas.

That’s according to a report from Milenio.

The power-punching Ponzinibbio (27-3) blasted his way to seven straight wins inside the Octagon, including back-to-back wins over Mike Perry and Neil Magny, but then lost nearly two years of his fighting prime due to injuries and other health-related issues.

As for Salikhov (172), his UFC career got off to a rocky start following a submission loss to Alex Garcia at UFC Fight Night 122; however, “The King of Kung Fu” has since rattled off four straight victories, including his decision win over Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos last July.

The UFC event on Jan. 16 will also feature a bantamweight showdown pitting Ricky Simon against Brian Kelleher, while Justin Tafa collides with Carlos Felipe in heavyweight action.