Ponzinibbio Out of UFC Fight Night Chile; Oezdemir vs. Rua Also Pulled from May 19 Card

By Tristen Critchfield Apr 21, 2018

The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s upcoming event in Chile has suffered a couple of major losses at the top of the card.

Santiago Ponzinibbio has been forced to withdraw from a proposed headlining clash against Kamaru Usman at UFC Fight Night 129 due to a hand injury. Brazilian media outlet Combate was first to report the news. The Las Vegas-based promotion is currently seeking a replacement opponent for Usman.

Meanwhile, Combate also initially brought word that a featured light heavyweight duel pitting Mauricio Rua against Volkan Oezdemir has also been pulled from the card due to Oezdemir’s legal issues in the United States. Oezdemir was charged with a third-degree felony for allegedly knocking a man unconscious outside a Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., bar on Aug. 12. Oezdemir pleaded not guilty in the case, but his passport was taken, rendering him unable to travel overseas.

MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani has confirmed that the UFC is hoping to move Rua vs. Oezdemir to an event later this summer.

UFC Fight Night 129 takes place on May 19 at Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile.

Ponzinibbio has won six consecutive bouts in the Octagon. Most recently, the 31-year-old Argentina native took a unanimous verdict over Mike Perry at UFC on Fox 26.

After winning his first three promotional appearances, Oezdemir suffered a second-round TKO defeat to Daniel Cormier in a light heavyweight championship bout at UFC 220. Rua, meanwhile, is currently on a three-bout winning streak, earning one win per year from 2015 to 2017.


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