Santiago Ponzinibbio has another target in the welterweight division.
The rising Argentine has been calling out former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos for a few months now, but the promotion hasn’t made the fight happen. Tired of waiting and anxious to get back inside the Octagon, Ponzinibbio is now calling out Tyron Woodley, who recently lost his UFC welterweight belt to Kamaru Usman.
“The reality is, dos Anjos said in the media that he wanted this fight, but he doesn’t,” Ponzinibbio told MMA Fighting. “He doesn’t want this fight. He never asked for it in the U.S., never made any noise to make it happen. He asked for it in Brazil so he wouldn’t look like a p****, but the truth is he doesn’t want to fight me.
“I need to fight, man. This is one of the best moments of my career, I’m ready to become world champion and I don’t want to stay inactive. Since dos Anjos really doesn’t want to fight me, I think Tyron Woodley is a great fight. I’ve showed time and time again I’m ready to become champion.”
Ponzinibbio is riding the second-longest winning streak among UFC welterweights today with seven, including knockout wins over Neil Magny and Gunnar Nelson. Only Usman has more UFC wins in a row (10) than him right now.
”I’ve done more than Tyron did when he first fought for the belt. I believe I’m ready to fight him,” Ponzinibbio said. “I will knock Tyron out and then I’ll fight for the title and knock Usman out. I will be the next welterweight champion in 2019.”
Ponzinibbio is coming off a dominant fourth-round finish over Magny in his hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and will be ready to get back in the cage from late-April on, but knows that Woodley might need more time after a one-sided defeat to Usman earlier this month.
“I’m just waiting for a fight that makes sense for my career,” he said.