Santiago Ponzinibbio keen to enter title contention by stopping Geoff Neal at UFC 269

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. – Santiago Ponzinibbio is craving gold, and he’s doing whatever in his power to scratch that itch.

The welterweight competitor go back to the cage on UFC 269, the promo’s last pay-per-view of the year, for a clash with Geoff Neal in the included bout of the primary card at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Prelims air on ESPN and stream on ESPN+.

Ponzinibbio (28-4 MIXED MARTIAL ARTS, 10-3 UFC), who’s coming off a “Fight of the Night” win versus Miguel Baeza in June, is wanting to take advantage of his momentum and make a declaration at 170 pounds.

“I always try put on the best fights and fight the best guys in the company,” Ponzinibbio informed mixed martial arts Addict in Spanish. “I’m always out to beat the top fighters and prove I’m among the best in the world. My objective is the world title, but I’m focused on Neal.

“Fortunately, I’m in great shape, I’m feeling good and I’m prepared to beat him. The idea is to finish the fight and then get in there with a top 5. That’s what I’m looking for. I want a top five, so I can then get an opportunity for the title.”

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Ponzinibbio is 8-1 in his previous 9 journeys leading the octagon. He was a spotting competitor for the title years back, however a harmful infection put him out on the sidelines for 3 years. The Argentine wishes to offset wasted time by putting away Neal (13-4 MIXED MARTIAL ARTS, 5-2 UFC), he stated.

The American Leading Group item understands champ Kamaru Usman, who is resting on 5 successive title defenses, is a hard difficulty to manage, and he’s impressed by the present titleholder. The 2 were arranged to combat back in 2018, however the match failed after Ponzinibbio suffered an injury. Ponzinibbio is figured out to combat his method to a 2nd reservation with Usman.

“He’s looking better every time and he’s an incredible athlete,” Ponzinibbio stated. “He looks very strong physically and mentally and he’s constantly evolving, that’s what catches my eye. He’s an athlete that is getting better every fight.

“I love that matchup. I actually accepted to fight him when they offered me that fight for Chile. We had it booked, but because of an injury I wasn’t able to compete. He then became champion and I had that long layoff. I was ranked No. 6 and then they removed me. But now we’re back on the path and I know that after this fight, this victory, a is big fight is coming. I want to get as soon as possible to that title.”

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.