Santiago Ponzinibbio Wants To Fight Tony Ferguson At UFC 249
Dismal as it may seem, the highly anticipated battle between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson seems to have hit a standstill for the fifth time. Because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, a number of imperative precautions have been set in place preventing any air travel, and thus putting a another huge hurdle in the way of UFC 249.
Over the last few days, Khabib has taken to social media to declare that he is stuck in Russia and unlikely to be able to fight on April 18th.
Following this news, a number of fighters have thrown their names in the hat to save the card, including the former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier, and number four lightweight contender Justin Gaethje who is currently harvesting a three-fight 1st round KO win-streak.
As well as that, a number of welterweight fighters have also added their names as possibilities, including Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington, and welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and the BMF champion Jorge Masvidal.
As the names grew larger, top welterweight prospect and Argentinian dark-horse Santiago Ponzinibbio, also declared his initiative to throw down the gauntlet with Ferguson on April 18th, as he feels that this clash is unquestionably a stylistic battle for the ages.
“I think ‘El Cucuy’, Tony Ferguson, is one of the most entertaining fighters because he gives his all and I think we would do an epic fight, a great fight. We both have the style, we give it all in our fights, [my fights] always have blood and a good striking battle,” Ponzinibbio told MMA Fighting.
Ponzinibbio has been out of action since his brutalising 4th round KO victory over former number six ranked welterweight contender Neil Magny at the end of 2018 in his home country of Argentina. He’s also on a seven fight win-streak, including big wins over Gunnar Nelson, Mike Perry, Zack Cummings, and Nordine Taleb.
Likewise, Ferguson is unbeaten since his unanimous decision loss to Michael Johnson in May 2012, and is on a riveting twelve fight win-streak. Ponzinibbio believes that this one would be a true super-fight.
“It would have to be catchweight because I can’t make 155lbs in 18 days”, Ponzinibbio said. “I can do it with time and preparation because I’m a small guy for 170. I’m doing great in this division and wasn’t thinking about leaving, but for an opportunity like this, a super fight, I’d do it. I can’t make 155 in 18 days, but a 165lbs catchweight, I can do it. I have no doubt it would be an entertaining fight”.
Although the Argentinian native will not be able to cut down to 155lbs in such a short period of time, Ferguson may have no choice but to fight somebody in a higher weight-class, and Ponzinibbio seems a perfect fit for a battle of destruction. Ponzinibbio is well prepared.
“It’s not my weight class, but with all this craziness going on and many guys not able to travel and me being here in America, I would do it. It would be a great fight for the fans and a great fight for me to come back. I’d do it. I’m running every day here, and that’s good enough to beat up everybody there, brother”.
In the last few hours, Khabib has again spoken on Instagram Live and also chatted to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, where he hit out at his critics and also said that he hadn’t 100% ruled out fighting at UFC 249.
Who knows what will transpire on April 18th, as UFC 249 draws nearer. With still a location and replacement fighters to be decided, the MMA community wait eagerly for what might be an epic tale.
Would you like to see Tony Ferguson vs Santiago Ponzinibbio go down at UFC 249?