Santiago Ponzinibbio is eager to line up his next opponent inside the Octagon after claiming former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos doesn’t want to share the cage with him.
The 32-year-old Argentinean is in career-best form with notable wins over Neil Magny, Mike Perry and Gunnar Nelson and is looking for another big name to propel him towards a title shot. Ponzinibbio claims dos Anjos has purposely been silent on fighting him in the United States believing he has a better shot against him in his homeland of Brazil.
“The reality is, dos Anjos said in the media that he wanted this fight, but he doesn’t,” Ponzinibbio told MMA Fighting. “He doesn’t want this fight. He never asked for it in the U.S., never made any noise to make it happen. He asked for it in Brazil so he wouldn’t look like a p-----, but the truth is he doesn’t want to fight me.”
Ponzinibbio said he’s given up on chasing the fight with “RDA” and said he’s looking to lock horns with former welterweight king Tyron Woodley who is coming off a demoralising loss to current champion Kamaru Usman at UFC 235 earlier this month.
“I need to fight, man. This is one of the best moments of my career, I’m ready to become world champion and I don’t want to stay inactive. Since dos Anjos really doesn’t want to fight me, I think Tyron Woodley is a great fight. I’ve showed time and time again I’m ready to become champion.”
Some fans are doubting Ponzinibbio’s chance of landing someone with the name of Woodley but the Argentine says his seven consecutive wins over some tough opponents means the call-out is not as farfetched as some would think.
“I’ve done more than Tyron did when he first fought for the belt. I believe I’m ready to fight him,” Ponzinibbio said. “I will knock Tyron out and then I’ll fight for the title and knock Usman out. I will be the next welterweight champion in 2019.”