Las Vegas, NV – UFC welterweight Santiago Ponzinibbio is ready to punch his ticket to a title shot and he will smash anyone that gets in his way starting with Geoff Neal at UFC 269.
Coming off a decision win over Miguel Baeza back in June Ponzinibbio see this bout with Neal as another win on his way to a title shot. The war he had with Baeza did nothing to deter Ponzinibbio from wanting to get back into the cage with another tough opponent.
“I love this kind of work. This fight has all the ingredients to be another war, another great fight. I’m more than ready, I’m super good right now. I think I’m in the right spot mentally, physically to make another epic fight,” Ponzinibbio said at media day on Wednesday.
Ponzinibbio is on a mission to show the UFC that he is ready for a title fight with a win over Neal. He had asked to fight in September but the UFC offered him Neal at UFC 269 instead.
“I take the fight I don’t care. I said anybody. I tried to fight as soon as possible (coming off the fight in June) they give me this guy for December. I’m ready to smash this guy. I’m gonna finish this guy, I’m gonna smash this guy. I’m going to put my ninth victory in 10 fights. I’m going to show to the world that I’m ready for the belt.”
Neal (13-4) has had quite a bit of hype following wins over names like Mike Perry, Niko Price and Belal Muhammad. Recently he lost two bouts in a row with losses to Stephen Thompson and Neil Magny. None of that matters to Ponzinibbio who knows that Neal is still a dangerous fighter.
“Yeah very dangerous. He’s tough guy. Yeah he take two loss but doesn’t matter nothing. I think he’s coming with a lot of hunger in this fight. He needs to win. He puts a third loss in a row, it’s bad for him.”
“Realistically, I don’t care what is good for him. I’m gonna smash this guy. I’m going to make him feel a lot of pain for 15 minutes. If he’s smart maybe he stays on the floor early.”
Neal has been in the news recently after being arrested on driving while intoxicated and weapons charges. Ponzinibbio heard the news from a friend and waited for a call from the UFC on whether or not his fight would be cancelled.
“I saw that in internet I didn’t know if it was true or fake. I’m sitting waiting if somebody would call me to say that the fight was cancelled. I’m thinking that they’d give me other opponent and I’m still fighting. Realistically I’m just one step more for my belt. I don’t really care about him. This is the opponent the UFC put for me and I said ok. But my goal is the belt.”
Ponzinibbio will take on Geoff Neal in the featured prelim of UFC 269 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Watch the full UFC 269 media day scrum with Santiago Ponzinibbio above. The event takes place this Saturday, December 11 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. More coverage can be found below.