Santiago Ponzinibbio wants a big name in UFC return fight – preferably Tyron Woodley

    UFC welterweight Santiago Ponzinibbio wants to pick up right where he left off.

    Ponzinibbio (27-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC), who hasn’t fought since November 2018, has been sidelined due to multiple career-threatening bacterial infections and a tough battle with arthritis. It’s been a long road to recovery for the streaking Argentinian fighter, who’s now healthy and targeting a notable name for his return.

    Due to inactivity, Ponzinibbio has been removed from the UFC’s 170-pound rankings, so he knows it could be difficult for him to draw a top contender right off the bat. He initially wanted former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, whom he’s been trading barbs with for a while now, but ultimately Ponzinibbio just wants a big name in the division.

    “RDA I think it’s a good fight before,” Ponzinibbio told MMA Junkie. “Now he has a couple of losses, but it’s still a good name, it’s still an ex-champion. Before everything started, they told me one more fight, and you’re going to the belt. I was so excited. Right now I understand I have a couple of months off from the game. It’s not my fault.

    “I’d really like to fight with a big name, maybe ex-champion. They have a lot of good names in the division: Robbie Lawler, RDA, ‘Showtime’ Pettis. Michael Chiesa coming in very well into the division; it’s a good fight. Tyron Woodley, ex-champion, always I like this fight. … Stephen Thompson is an exciting fight. A lot of good options, and hopefully they give me a good opponent for my comeback.”

    But if Ponzinibbio had to narrow his choice down to one, a particular name sticks out, and that’s former champ Tyron Woodley, whom he’d like to fight sometime in late summer or fall.

    “I like end of August or September,” Ponzinibbio said. “That’s a good time. Who? There are a lot of good names. If I need to pick and say this guy, I’d love to fight Tyron Woodley. I’ve always been asking for this fight. For different reasons they never give me, but I love this fight.

    “There are a lot of good names there. I think we can do a lot of exciting fights with Robbie Lawler, a lot of good guys there. Michael Chiesa, he came in very well, three victories in the division, the last fight was a co-main event. We can do an exciting main event with Michael Chiesa, a good fight, too.”

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