Thursday, August 11, 2022

Santiago Ponzinibbio Challenges “Diva” Rafael dos Anjos

Santiago Ponzinibbio is ready to schedule his next fight, and he hopes that it will be against a man he has called out in the past, former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, who Ponzinibbio had hoped to face at UFC Argentina in November. Instead, Ponzinibbio settled for knocking out Neil Magny. One month later, Ponzinibbio has returned his gaze in the direction of dos Anjos, who is currently on a two-fight losing streak: (translation via Bloody Elbow)

“I’m waiting for that diva, Rafael dos Anjos,” Ponzinibbio told Combate. “The diva calls the shots. I’m just waiting on a confirmation from the diva. Let him pick the place. Just like all my fights, it’ll be another knockout. The diva said he wouldn’t fight me because it was in Argentina, he wanted to fight me in the U.S., well, just tell me when and where.”

Santiago Ponzinibbio is showing no patience for dos Anjos to lick his wounds after being dominated by Kamaru Usman less than a month ago at the TUF 28 Finale. Ponzinibbio is on a very impressive seven-fight win streak and finds himself ranked #7 in the world. With a winning streak as extensive as Ponzinibbio’s, he could attempt to make a case for a title shot or facing one of the two two contenders, Colby Covington or Kamaru Usman, but Ponzinibbio believes dos Anjos is a more attainable fight:

“I think dos Anjos is the more real option, because Colby is from my gym, we share some of the same coaches, like Mike Brown, so it’s no good,” he said. “The gym’s management warned us they’d prefer if they could avoid that fight unless it’s for the title, I’m ready to take anyone, I was never one to choose fights, I don’t care. Woodley, Usman, dos Anjos, they’re all good fights for me, I’ll knock anyone out.”

One name absent from the list of names uttered by Ponzinibbio is former title challenger Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, who sits three spots above Ponzinibbio and who claims Ponzinibbio declined a fight against him. But regardless of who Ponzinibbio’s next opponent will be, it may very well be the final fight for Ponzinibbio before earning a shot at the world title.

What do you think of Santiago Ponzinibbio’s choice of Rafael dos Anjos as his preferred next opponent?

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