UFC Welterweight Santiago Ponzinibbio Gets a New Opponent Ahead of January 16 Card

Published 01/04/2021, 2:34 PM EST


UFC welterweight Santiago Ponzinibbio will make his long-anticipated return on the promotion’s first card of the year. ‘Gente Boa’ last fought in November 2018, getting an impressive KO victory over Neil Magny.

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Ponzinibbio will look to remind the UFC audience of his potential when he returns to the octagon on January 16th.

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The last two years have not been easy for the Argentine. Ponzinibbio has had to deal with multiple injuries and health problems, not to mention testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. ‘Gente Boa’ will now look to continue his impressive run in the promotion.

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Santiago Ponzinibbio makes his UFC return

The Argentinian contender has been very impressive in his time with the promotion. Before his injury layoff, Ponzinibbio was on a 7-fight win streak in the UFC’s welterweight division.

He has only lost twice in his 11 fights in the promotion, both losses coming early in his UFC run. He will now look to get himself back in title contention.

Santiago Ponzinibbio was initially set to face Muslim Salikhov on his return to the promotion. Unfortunately, his opponent had to pull out because of COVID-19 related health issues, but the UFC has moved to find a replacement for the returning Argentinian.

Ponzinibbio will now face Li Jingliang (17-6) on January 16. The Chinese welterweight last fought at UFC 248 headlined by Israel Adesanya and Yoel Romero. He would suffer a unanimous decision loss to Neil Magny. Jingliang is currently 9-4 in his UFC career.

UFC welterweight division heating up

The welterweight division has always been one of the premier divisions of the UFC. The title has been held by legends such as Matt Hughes, Georges St. Pierre, Robbie Lawler, and has been one of the most stacked divisions in the UFC.

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Now the next generation has cemented themselves as contenders for the 170-pound title. The defending champion, Kamaru Usman, has shown no signs of letting go of his title in a stacked division with names such as Colby Covington, Jorge Masvidal, Gilbert Burns, Leon Edwards all trying to get a shot at the title.

A win for Ponzinibbio will remind the UFC fan base that he too is a worthy contender for Kamaru Usman’s title. With 15 TKO/KO’s as a professional, the Argentine’s return will be a welcome addition for 2021.

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Keith Dsouza

193 articles

Keith D'Souza is part of the Essentially Sports MMA writing team. Having followed the sport since 2013, some of his favorite fighters include Max Holloway, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor, and Johny Hendricks. Keith also runs PureMMAIndia, a brand that promotes MMA over social media which aims at growing the sport in India.

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