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It’s been a while since the experts counted Santiago Ponzinibbio out of a fight.
To be fair, it’s not like they’re really counting the Argentinian out on Sunday in the UFC Fight Night 113 centerpiece versus Gunnar Nelson (16-2-1 MMA, 7-2 UFC). But for the first time in 5 battles, Ponzinibbio (24-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) is an underdog.
Which, Ponzinibbio believes, simply might be an error.
” I have a fantastic opportunity of beating him,” Ponzinibbio informed MMAjunkie. “I have all the weapons to win this. I’m not stressed over exactly what he’ll do. I’ll place on a program. I’m ready to nullify him all over– on the feet, jiu-jitsu, or wrestling. I train with world-champion ground fighters. I all set in every area. I’m not taking a look at him. I’m taking a look at what I’ll do. I can knock out any fighter in our weight class.”
UFC Fight Night 113 occurs Sunday at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass. For the very first time in his UFC career, Ponzinibbio discovers himself at the top of the bill for the welterweight fight.
He’ll be trying to extend his winning streak to 5. In his present four-fight run, he has first-round knockouts of Andreas Stahl and Court McGee, plus choices over Zak Cummings and Nordine Taleb. He was the favorite in all four of those fights, but against Nelson, he’s a small underdog.
The last time Ponzinibbio wasn’t favored likewise happens to be his last loss– a “Fight of the Night” second-round TKO at the hands of Lorenz Larkin more than 2 years back. Likely, Ponzinibbio has actually been neglected by most observers heading into UFC Fight Night 113. Even Nelson has actually stated he was anticipating a bigger-name opponent for a main event.
However Ponzinibbio stated even if most people don’t believe he ought to be headlining a card, the members of the UFC brass knew exactly what they were doing when they called him.
” I’ve been working extremely hard, improving with each battle,” Ponzinibbio stated. “My self-confidence is really high. This is the best minute in my profession. … I’ve been able to reveal the fruits of my work, however I feel I constantly have more to provide. I’m extremely well trained and gotten ready for this battle. I feel the UFC picked well when they reserved me for the centerpiece. It will be a terrific battle.”
Iceland’s Nelson, a training partner of UFC light-weight champ Conor McGregor, would appear to represent a fairly steep jump in competition for Ponzinibbio, though. Six of his 7 wins in the UFC have been choke submissions, and the only two losses of his career were decisions– a split call versus Rick Story in his very first UFC centerpiece and a consentaneous decision loss to upcoming welterweight title opposition Demian Maia.
But since the problem to Maia, Nelson has back-to-back bonus-winning submissions of Albert Tumenov and Alan Jouban and would no doubt love another bonus-generating stoppage to keep inching back up the 170-pound chart.
Ponzinibbio wants to spoil that.
” He’s total, however so am I,” Ponzinibbio stated. “He comes from karate, but he’s likewise great on the ground– so am I. I’m also extremely experienced on the ground. Plus, I have heavy hands. I have no fret about exactly what he’s going to do. It’s an MMA battle. If he stands in front of me, I’ll knock him out. If he goes for my legs, he’ll stop working. And if he attempts to establish something on the ground, he will not have the ability to. I am ready.
” With another win, it will be 5 in a row. I’ll leap to the top of the weight class. I know I’ll be ready to combat for the belt when I’m provided the possibility. But for now, I’m now only worried about beating Nelson. Then I’ll stress over who’s next. I ‘d like to battle no behind November or December. I do not want to sit around. Eventually, my main objective is fighting for the belt.”
Main Card – FS1, (3 p.m. ET)
Gunnar Nelson vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
Joanne Calderwood vs. Cynthia Calvillo
Paul Felder vs. Stevie Ray
Ryan Janes vs. Jack Marshman
Paul Craig vs. Khalil Rountree
James Mulheron vs. Justin Willis
Preliminary Card – FS1, (1 p.m. ET)
Bobby Nash vs. Danny Roberts
Alexandre Pantoja vs. Neil Seery
Galore Bofando vs. Charlie Ward
Danny Henry vs. Daniel Teymur
Preliminary Card – UFC Fight Pass, (12pm ET)
Brett Johns vs. Albert Morales
Amanda Lemos vs. Leslie Smith