|Esther Lin/MMA Fighting
Santiago Ponzinibbio has amassed seven straight wins at welterweight since 2015.
A welterweight showdown between the surging Santiago ‘Gente Boa’ Ponzinibbio and former division best ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler is expected to feature on the UFC 245 card in the promotion’s pay-per-view return to ‘Sin City’ on December 14th. Ponzinibbio is currently riding a seven-fight win streak at 170 pounds and the #8 ranked contender has been paired with Lawler, who has dropped his last three fights.
Argentina native Ponzinnibio has made impressive inroads to the title, stopping Neil Magny last time out, after a failed pairing with current division best Kamaru Usman. The always dangerous Lawler lost his title to Tyron Woodley in 2016 and despite a contentious decision victory over ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, has failed to find the winner’s enclosure since, in outings against Rafael dos Anjos, Ben Askren and last month, against the controversial Colby Covington.
Hard Knocks 365 trainee Ponzinibbio has displayed a keen eye for finishes during his six-year Octagon stint, with the help of his now polished standup and underrated grappling game, and a victory over a man of Lawler’s stature may see the La Plata native crack the division’s top five. California’s Lawler is an almost certain shoo-in for Hall of Fame contention upon his stepback from the sport, with highlight victories over the likes of Rory MacDonald, Carlos Condit, Johny Hendricks, Melvin Manhoef, Frank Trigg, and Matt Lindland to name a few.
UFC 245 takes place from the T-Mobile Arena on December 14th. with a bantamweight title tilt rematch between Amanda Nunes and Germaine de Randamie set to place, while a 145-pound title meeting between Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski is rumored to feature. Welterweight veteran Matt ‘The Immortal’ Brown also ends a two-year hiatus from the Octagon as he meets wily grappler Ben Saunders, and Jessica Eye looks to return to winning ways after her shocking championship head kick knockout loss to Valentina Shevchenko, as she meets the talented finisher, Viviane ‘Vivi’ Araújo.