The mid-point of the main card at UFC Fight Island 7 will bear witness to a welterweight clash for the ages. Santiago Ponzinibbio will be welcomed back to the octagon after an extended absence by Li Jingliang. Although not immediately apparent, a statement win in this fight could help the winner wade through the crowded welterweight division.
The fight card comes in with a headliner by Max Holloway and Calvin Kattar, who are promising prospects for ‘Fight of the Night’. On paper, Ponzinibbio vs Jingliang clearly can compete for this accolade given their ferocious styles. Chiefly, there are plenty of questions regarding Santiago Ponzinibbio by virtue of his inactivity and the injuries he’s suffered.
The 27-3 fighter from Argentina was one of the best welterweights on the planet before he was sidelined from competition. Ponzinibbio last fought back in November 2018 and extended his winning streak to seven after crushing Neil Magny. ‘Gente Boa’ was removed from the rankings and this is his opportunity to get right back to where he was.
Santiago Ponzinibbio perfectly encompasses controlled ferocity and his ability to explode is second to none. The biggest thing going against him is the injuries that he has suffered over the last few years. Not to mention, these maladies were severe enough to almost retire him from MMA permanently. A healthy version of Ponzinibbio is sure to be a big favorite to pick up an emphatic win.
Li Jingliang’s last fight was also against Neil Magny, however, he came out on the wrong side of a decision. The 17-6 fighter has shown plenty of promise in his career, but there are definitely some holes in his game. He’s shown himself to be somewhat inefficient with his output and has a mid-range gas tank.
Stepping under the bright lights against Ponzinibbio with compromised cardio is a recipe for disaster. On the bright side, his aggression has been a point of success in his UFC wins. However, it’s unclear whether it will be enough to overcome the intensity his opponent promises to show.
Prediction: Santiago Ponzinibbio to claim a second-round TKO win
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