‘Don’t Sleep on This’ is a new segment I’m going to pump out leading up to every card about a fighter and/or matchup that should not be missed (a/k/a slept on). The UFC will visit Argentina for the first time in the promotion’s history, as native Santiago Ponzinibbio will face off against Neil Magny in the main event.
Santiago Ponzinibbio was 18-1 before entering the UFC, going on two separate win streaks of at least seven wins during that time. After appearing on the Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, the Argentine started 2-2 with the promotion before putting together a six-fight win streak, taking out names like Court McGee, Zak Cummings, Nordine Taleb, Mike Perry and title contender Gunnar Nelson. Injuries have kept Ponzinibbio from competing, so we will see how a year off will effect his rhythm after fighting three times in 2017.
Neil Magny has been on a similar path during his UFC tenure, an Ultimate Fighter contestant himself, starting out 1-2 before reeling off seven straight wins. His streak was snapped by BJJ ace Demian Maia, a fight which taught Magny a lesson he had a lot more to learn on the ground; Magny had reached out and attended a seminar run by Maia. Since then, Magny has posted a 6-2 record, taking out Erick Silva, former Bellator champ Hector Lombard, former UFC welterweight champ Johny Hendricks, former interim champ Carlos Condit and current title challenger Kelvin Gastelum. Magny is coming off a TKO win of Craig White at UFC Fight Night 130 back in May.
These two fighters match up very similarly; they’re both skilled on the feet, though Magny has the reach advantage, and you can argue he has the better ground game. We’re also left to wonder how much the layoff will effect Ponzinibbio. With the welterweight title picture up in the air right now, a win here can put either in line for a title shot.
The main card for UFC Argentina kicks off on Fox Sports 1 @ 10:00PM ET/7:00PM PT.