Hometown fighter scores stunning knockout in UFC Argentina headliner (VIDEO)
Surging welterweight contender and local boy Santiago Ponzinibbio showed why he has become one of the sport’s most talked-about fighters as he scythed through Neil Magny in Buenos Aires on Saturday night at UFC Argentina.
The Argentine has now won 27 of 30 career bouts (13 of 15 in the UFC) as he dispatched veteran fighter Magny with a fourth-round knockout in the featured bout in the UFC’s first trip to his home country. The victory marks seven straight wins for ‘Gente Boa’ in the UFC’s shark-tank welterweight frame, the second longest winning streak at 170lbs.
“I have 15 fights in the company and 13 victories,” Ponzinibbio declared after the fight. “I am ready for the best.”
Ponzinibbio started the fight at a blistering pace, causing damage to Magny’s eye early with a jab which caused the American fighter obvious discomfort.
Magny, who once recorded a seven-fight win streak of his own in the division, rallied but the Argentine’s aggression meant that Magny was too often reacting to what his opponent was doing instead of implementing a gameplan of his own.
In truth, Ponzinibbio was rarely in any real danger throughout the contest. His only real cause for concern during the bout was the result of an accidental headbutt which opened a gash above his eyelid - however he was deemed fit to continue after a cageside doctor observed the cut.
Magny was unable to capitalize on the break in the action, however, as Ponzinibbio used the timeout as a reason to up his pace further. A series of leg kicks hurt Magny, sending him to the canvas on more than one occasion and it was the accumulated damage of these techniques which caused an opening for Ponzinibbio to unleash a further barrage of strikes.
In the fourth, the writing appeared to be on the wall for the American. Sent sprawling to the mat again and again as Ponzinibbio doubled down on his leg kick strategy, a wicked right cross which followed sent Magny faceplanting to the canvas which prompted referee Herb Dean to call the bout.
“I use my pressure, I have a great opportunity, he’s difficult to finish but keep patient and I get the finish,” Ponzinibbio said afterwards.
A fight with a high-ranked opponent now seems inevitable for the division's new contender, with a match-up with the division’s other striking savants in Darren Till and Stephen Thompson being mooted.
Elsewhere on the card, Ricardo Lamas emerged victorious after a bloody battle with Darren Elkins and Cynthia Calvillo, who caused headlines when she appeared feint at Friday’s weigh-ins, took home a first round TKO win against Poliana Botelho.