UFC Fight Island 7 Preview: Santiago Ponzinibbio – Jingliang Li

Nov 17, 2018; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Santiago Ponzinibbio (blue gloves) defeats Neil Magny (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Parque Roca Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

One of the storylines I’m most intrigued by tomorrow at UFC Fight Island 7 is the return of Santiago Ponzinibbio (27-3). The top Argentinian welterweight will fight for the first time since 2018 when he takes on Jingliang Li (17-6) on the main card.

A couple of years ago, Ponzinibbio looked like he was on his way to being a force in the UFC‘s welterweight division. Ponzinibbio had won seven fights in a row including wins over Neil Magny, Mike Perry, and Gunner Nelson.

However, it was the manner in which Ponzinibbio won some of these matchups. He completely starched the durable Neil Magny when those two fought in 2018. Ponzinibbio looked like he could become the UFC‘s first champion from Argentina.

However, his career has been derailed by injuries over the past couple of years. That Magny knockout was the last time we’ve seen Ponzinibbio in action. His return has been anticipated by many and the UFC gave him a great opponent for his return.

Standing in the way of a successful Ponzinibbio return is Jingliang Li. Li was riding high entering 2020 after he had won three straight. He got a big opportunity against Neil Magny back in March. He lost that fight by unanimous decision.

Since then, we haven’t seen Li back in the UFC. However, he’s been working hard to improve and he looks to be a tough challenge for Ponzinibbio. Whoever wins this fight should be ranked in the top 15 when the rankings are updated next week.

UFC Fight Island 7 Prediction

The one thing I really like about this matchup is the pressure that Li is going to put on Ponzinibbio. Ponzinibbio is going to be fighting for the first time in over two years at UFC Fight Island 7.

Li is not going to let him get super comfortable in the cage. He’s going to come right out with pressure and force Ponzinibbio right into the fire. Li is the type of guy who’s not going to blow you away with anything he does, but he’s tough and he pushes the pace.

When it comes to predictions, it all comes down to which Ponzinibbio we see tomorrow. If he’s back into his normal form, I think he’s going to land a clean counter and get the finish. However, if he’s too timid, Li can win this fight on points with his activity alone.

At the end of the day, I believe that Ponzinibbio is one of the better welterweights in the UFC. I think he’s going to fight with something to prove and I think he will get the stoppage win tomorrow.

Prediction: Santiago Ponzinibbio by TKO – Round 2