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Santiago Ponzinibbio releases statement after first round knockout loss at UFC Fight Island 7

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UFC Fight Night: Ponzinibbio v Jingliang Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Santiago Ponzinibbio came into UFC Fight Island 7 the biggest favorite on the card, a whopping -340 to his opponent Jingliang Li’s +280. He left in defeat, knocked out by Li with 30 seconds remaining in the first round (watch the finish here).

What happened? In our estimation, it was a combination of bookies underestimating “The Leech” after Neil Magny (whom Ponzinibbio KO’d) made him look bad, and folks underestimating just how serious Ponzinibbio’s health issues were from the two years he spent away from the cage. But, maybe there is no rhyme or reason to it all. Someone’s gotta lose in almost every fight. This time it was Santiago, and it was a crushing defeat for “The Argentine Dagger.”

Shortly after the loss, Ponzinibbio issued a statement on social media:

“I have no words to describe the sadness I feel,” he wrote. “I wanted to return giving a victory, you deserve it for so much support. I worked very hard for this event, a whole year of preparation but this sport is like that, there is a part out of control, a blow that comes in and everything ends. I want to thank all the messages and the love of always! All my life I forged it on adversity, this time it will be no different. I’m coming back stronger than ever.”

Ponzinibbio was on the verge of breaking into the Welterweight contender’s circle when a stubborn staph infection in his knee completely derailed things. On the verge of returning, his 2020 was then wrecked by a bout of COVID-19. Now, he’s starting 2021 with a loss that snaps an impressive seven-fight win streak. It’s good to hear the Argentinian fighter is determined to get back to his winning ways. We’re just hoping all these medical issues haven’t taken too much of a toll on the 36-year-old fighter.