It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Saturday’s UFC card has largely been built around Santiago Ponzinibbio, but Neil Magny sounds pretty focused and confident heading into their bout.
Tomorrow’s Fight Night event will go down in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and if you didn’t know, Ponzinibbio is from the South American country. As the bout approaches, Ponzinibbio is riding a six-fight winning streak, so, obviously, a win over the perennial contender Magny, would go a long way in his title shot hunt.
But, despite Ponzinibbio’s momentum, and the fact he’s going to have a ton of support on Saturday night in the Parque Roca Arena, Magny doesn’t sound fazed at all. Case in point, while talking to the media recently, here’s what Magny had to say about fighting Ponzinibbio in his own backyard (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“I love it that the UFC decided to go with me against Santiago as the headliners. I feel it’s a great challenge for me, and I am going to deliver for the fans and for the UFC.”
Magny isn’t riding a six-fight winning streak, but the rugged vet is coming off a decision win over former challenger, Carlos Condit, and a KO win over Craig White. Those wins followed Magny’s submission loss to Rafael dos Anjos in 2017.
If you’ve watched any of the lead-up to UFC Buenos Aires, then you know that one thing that has been quite clear, is that Magny’s significantly taller than Ponzinibbio. Thus, this is why the 6’3 tall fighter relayed this, while discussing his strategy for the bout:
“He’s a striker, right, and he is a dangerous striker,” Magny said. “He’s very explosive, he’s got the majority of his wins by knockout, so in my book he’s a striker, and a talented one. But at the end of the day he’s not a fighter that I have not faced before…”
“When I realized how much of a height advantage I had on him when we met in person, that gave me so much more confidence going back to the gym and working on our game plan,” said the 6-foot Magny, who towers at least one full head above Ponzinibbio. “I know that sticking that jab early and more often is going to frustrate him, and eventually I will catch him and knock him out.”
It will be interesting to see if Magny can implement this strategy successfully. If he does go onto KO Ponzinibbio, it would certainly put the welterweight division on notice.