“I’m completely happy about this and I deserve this primary occasion battle,” he stated. “I labored onerous and suffered to get right here. That is the place I belong and that is the place I must be.”
Now making his residence in South Florida, the place he trains with the American Prime Staff squad, Ponzinibbio has been paying his dues out and in of the UFC. Whether or not it was leaving his house in La Plata to stay and practice in Brazil, profitable 4 fights on The Final Fighter Brazil earlier than an damage stored him from the finals, or then shifting to america to get one of the best coaching for a run on the UFC’s welterweight title, he’s sacrificed greater than most to succeed in this level.
“For me it was very troublesome as a result of I went with out assets to an unknown nation,” he stated of his first transfer to Brazil. “I had no cash, no place to remain, no contacts, and I didn’t converse the language. This struggling was the important thing to get to the place I’m now. If I hadn’t left the comforts of residence to pursue my goals, I wouldn’t be the place I’m now. I left house ten years in the past with one goal: to pursue my goals on the highest degree. Day-after-day, I make my goals right into a actuality by persevering with to be a competitor with the perfect on the earth.”
These sacrifices have paid off. The 30-yr-previous has a 6-2 UFC document that features 4 consecutive wins, and he’s presently ranked 14th on the earth at one hundred seventy kilos. A win over the No. eight-ranked Nelson will possible propel him into the highest 10, and whereas that’s when the enjoyable begins, he nonetheless has to defeat the artful Iceland native first and he’s assured that he’ll achieve this this weekend.
“I feel he is a superb fighter, a grappler, a nicely-rounded fighter, and he has strong foot work,” Ponzinibbio says of Nelson. “However I feel I’m higher. I’m right here to battle the perfect on the earth and I’m right here to beat all of them.”
Meaning beating them wherever the struggle might lead, so don’t anticipate Ponzinibbio to be intimidated by Nelson’s floor recreation, particularly since “Gente Boa” has a jiu-jitsu black belt of his personal.
“I’m able to beat Gunnar Nelson on his ft in addition to on the bottom,” he stated. “I’m lethal anyplace the battle goes.”
Ponzinibbio’s putting has garnered him probably the most constructive notices, although, and that’s not shocking since boxing is within the blood of the Argentinean.
“It all the time referred to as to me, and I like it,” he stated of the candy science. “I practice in boxing day by day and it’s a pleasure for me to characterize a rustic wealthy in boxing tradition. I’m excited to show the love I’ve for this self-discipline.”
From Nicolino Locche and Carlos Monzon to Sergio Martinez and Marcos Maidana, if a fighter referred to as Argentina his birthplace, followers knew they have been going to see a battle. However extra importantly, there’s a by no means say die angle that fighters from that a part of the world carry, and Ponzinibbio is proud to additionally show that coronary heart as nicely.
“I feel my individuals are warriors and I symbolize that,” he stated. I gained a struggle with my radius bone utterly damaged within the first two minutes of the battle. I completed the battle with one hand damaged, and the opposite was raised in victory.”
That win over Leonardo Santos within the TUF Brazil 2 semifinals didn’t earn him a shot at profitable the truth present, nevertheless it did introduce a fighter that has all of the instruments to someday put on championship gold. And if anybody hasn’t been taking note of Ponzinibbio, he plans on bringing them on board this weekend.
“I’ll show my expertise and my spirit within the Octagon,” he stated. “This battle shall be a beacon of MMA on the highest degree, and the world will see that I’m troublesome to disregard. They will see one of the best model of Santiago Ponzinibbio they’ve ever seen.”