Santiago Ponzinibbio: ‘No Words to Describe the Sadness I Feel’ After UFC on ABC 1 Loss

By: Tristen Critchfield
Jan 18, 2021

Santiago Ponzinibbio waited more than two years to return to the Octagon, but his first appearance since November 2018 was over in less than five minutes.

The 34-year-old Argentina native suffered a first-round knockout loss at the hands of Jingliang Li in a featured welterweight bout at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, ending a seven-bout winning streak that began in December 2015. “Gente Boa” had a chance to re-establish himself as one of the 170-pound division’s top contenders with a victory after an a lengthy absence that included a serious bacterial infection, a broken toe and a battle with COVID-19. Now, he has to rebuild.

Ponzinibbio issued a heartfelt statement via Instagram on the heels of his loss to Li.

I have no words to describe the sadness I feel,” he wrote. “I wanted to return giving a victory, you deserve it for so much support. I worked very hard for this event, a whole year of preparation but this sport is like that, there is a part out of control, a blow that comes in and everything ends. I want to thank all the messages and the love of always! All my life I forged it on adversity, this time it will be no different. I'm coming back stronger than ever.”

Ponzinibbio owns a 27-4 career mark that includes notable victories against the likes of Neil Magny, Mike Perry, Gunnar Nelson, Court McGee and Sean Strickland.

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A post shared by Santiago Ponzinibbio (@sponzinibbiomma)

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