5 Things You Might Not Know About Santiago Ponzinibbio

By Guy Portman Nov 14, 2018
Santiago Ponzinibbio is a violent finisher. (Photo: Josh Hedges/Getty Images)

Santiago Ponzinibbio (26-3) is an Argentine fighter who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s welterweight devision. His next appearance will see him headline UFC Fight Night 140 in his home country opposite Neil Magny at the Parque Roca Arena, in Buenos Aires on Nov. 17. It is the first time the UFC has held an event in the country.

In the build-up to the pivotal contest, here are five things that you might not know about the American Top Team representative known as “Gente Boa.”

1. He was on “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil.”

In 2013, Ponzinibbio was a cast member on “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2.” Having won his elimination bout to enter the “TUF” house, he beat Thiago Silva by first round TKO. In his next encounter, the Argentine prospect bested Marcio Santos by TKO. This was followed by a unanimous decision win over Cleiton Duarte. In the semi-finals, “Gente Boa” defeated Leonardo Santos, again by unanimous decision. However, Ponzinibbio broke his hand in the clash and was unable to participate in the final. It was not all bad news for the Argentine though. His TKO of Marcio Santos was chosen as Knockout of the Season. It earned Ponzinibbio a $50k bonus.

2. He started out in kickboxing.

Ponzinibbio was 13 when he commenced training in kickboxing in his homeland. His origins in the striking sport are evident from Ponzinibbio’s preferred method of dispatching his opponents. The welterweight’s first three professional contests were won with strikes; and across his career to date, 14 (54 percent) of his wins have come by KO/TKO. Of the remainder, 6 (23 percent) have been submissions, with a further 6 by decision.

3. He used to live in Brazil.

Ponzinibbio started his professional MMA career back in Argentina. But, intent on finding better training, he made the move to Brazil. With no family, friends or financial resources, the new arrival initially found life extremely difficult. However, he eventually settled in, and ended up spending seven years living in the country. Despite facing considerable hardship in Brazil, Ponzinibbio credits this period for honing his impressive MMA skills. He displays his respect for the country by brandishing a flag for his walkouts, one side of which is Argentinian, the other Brazilian.

4. He has worked numerous jobs.

Prior to earning enough money from MMA to make it his full-time career, Ponzinibbio worked at various jobs. During his stint in Brazil, he was a masseur, sold sandwiches, worked as a barman and as a kitchen assistant. Other positions he has held include doorman and book salesman.

5. He calls Florida home.

In 2015, Ponzinibbio left his adopted home of Brazil and moved north to South Florida, where he joined up with the vaunted American Top Team in Coconut Creek. In June of that year, he made his first U.S. appearance, a losing effort against Lorenz Larkin, at UFC Fight Night “Machida vs Romero.” To this day, Ponzinibbio continues to call South Florida home. There, he lives with his girlfriend and keeps up a relentless training regime at ATT, a gym where he feels at home. The results speak for themselves. Since that first loss on American shores, Ponzinibbio has been unbeaten across six stateside appearances with the Las Vegas-based promotion.


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