On the strength of a six-fight winning streak, No. 10-ranked welterweight Santiago Ponzinibbio gets another tough assignment in Neil Magny. A win over the American should afford him with a higher ranked opponent next, but he knows it won’t be easy.
The “Gentle Boa” welcomes the challenge as the Ultimate Fighting Championship swings by his home country of Argentina for the first time. The two skilled welterweights will clash at the Parque Roca Arena in Argentina’s capital city for UFC Fight Night 140. As Ponzinibbio tries to inch closer to the top of the rankings, learn more about him through these numbers.
13: Years old when he started training kickboxing. Ponzinibbio was an accomplished kickboxer, but It wasn’t until 2008 when he started training MMA. That same year, he entered his first cage fight.
22: Years old at the time of his first professional MMA fight. He was matched up against Gaston Micucci, whom he defeated via head kick KO in an event called Copa Desafio.
7: Fights in Argentina before taking his chances abroad. His first bout outside his home country took place in Brazil at Hero Kombat, where he TKOd Henrique Inseto.
11: Straight victories to start his professional career. During this impressive winning run, he went the distance only twice.
1: Round given up in his first loss. Ponzinibbio was stopped by fellow future UFC standout, Leonardo Mafra, by TKO in an event called Centurion Mixed Martial Arts 2.
7: Straight victories after suffering the first loss of his career. Following this winning streak, he landed a spot at “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2.”
4: Victories during his stint at TUF: Brazil 2. He TKOd Thiago Silva and Marcio Santos and decisioned Cleiton Duarte to set up a semifinals showdown with Leonardo Santos. While Ponzinibbio won the semifinals match, he couldn’t advance to the finals because of an injury he sustained during the fight.
3: Full rounds with Ryan LaFlare in Ponzinibbio’s Octagon debut. The highly-regarded Argentinian was stopped in his tracks by the then undefeated LaFlare, who earned the nods of all judges after three rounds.
1: Round needed to beat Wendell Oliveira and earn his first Octagon victory. Their bout at UFC Fight Night 51 ended by knockout at 1:20.
1: Performance of the Night award. Ponzinibbio knocked out Gunnar Nelson in the first round, becoming the first fighter to stop Nelson in MMA competition.
1: Fight of the Night award. Ponzinibbio was doing a good job pressuring Lorenz Larkin, but then Larkin started to unleash nasty low kicks and combinations that rattled the Argentinian. Both fighters appeared to be chasing the knockout,but it was Larkin who landed the strikes that stopped the clock.
15: First-round finishes. Ponzinibbio doesn’t just end fights; he likes doing it quickly. In the UFC, his victims inside the first round are Nelson, McGee, Oliveira and Andreas Stahl.
78: Significant strikes against Mike Perry’s 51, according to Fightmetric. Their UFC on Fox 26 encounter ended in a unanimous decision in favor of Ponzinibbio.